It's day two in Germany. We started off with an early morning run at 6 a.m. and then a little shadow boxing. Some other countries gathered around to watch and see how Team USA does things.
We had sparring scheduled for 1 p.m. against the top-ranked youth in Germany. We were told that there would be an audience but didn't expect what was soon to come. After a 15-minute drive, we ended up at a huge, four-story mall with Germans gathered around to watch their team take on Team USA.
I was first up to spar since I'm in the smallest division, and my nerves were kicking in because this wasn't a normal gym where the environment is well known and for the most part, pretty calm. This was a huge, bustling mall with people all over with cameras, and even public address announcers to say our names and hype the crowd.
This was really good for all of us. Even though these weren't real fights, they felt real and the environment was that of an actual show fight. It was good getting in there to get the cobwebs and nerves out before the real competition begins.
As for how the sparring went against the best German boxer in Germany, I asserted my dominance in the ring. I had him fighting my fight, as did all of the other Team USA boxers in their respective bouts. I even felt a bit like a celebrity because a couple people wanted to take pictures with us after sparring. From all the experience we picked up today, I'm confident all of Team USA should be coming home with medals.