For my Communal Identity class, my teacher took us to tour Croke Park, which is Ireland's largest sports arena and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Irish people take a lot of pride in their athletics, and it is heavily woven into the cultural history of the country. Four sports are played at Croke Park: hurling, handball, gaelic football, and camogie.
There are 32 counties in Ireland and each county in represented by a team. Irishman are fiercely loyal to their counties. Even if you move somewhere else in Ireland, you still root for your home team. In one of the halls of Croke Park there's a beautiful chandelier made of Waterford crystal that changes color, representing all the team colors of the rivals.
It was really incredible to walk through the doors and into the field as if I were a champion. I am severely handicapped when it comes to sports, so this is the closest I'll probably ever get to being on a sports field. They showed us clips of famous matches, and I was so in awe of the athleticism—particularly with hurling, which is the world's fastest field sport.
Then they took us to the locker rooms where all the jerseys for every team were hung. I suppose because I've been an honorary Dublin resident for three months now that the team I root for is Dublin, so I made sure to get a picture with that jersey. Go Dublin!
Remember how I said I was terrible at sports? Well, the final part of the Croke Park tour is an interactive exhibit where you can try many of the sports. It took me a few times to hit the ball with a hurl into the net. Then there was another exhibit where you have to jump really high and try to hit a buzzer that represents a ball because apparently some guy made this impossible leap during a game. I'm not sure these athletes are human to be honest. They must come from some different planet. Well, looks like I have to hit the gym!
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<p>I am a nerdy artist who loves to try anything and eat everything! I want my life to be filled with as many experiences as possible. I'm a writer, actor, video editor, visual artist, composer, scientist, and bonafide knitter. I'm happiest when I'm creating something, and one day I want to write and produce an animated series -- at least until the Food Network offers me a sweet gig as a judge on MasterChef.</p>