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I am with you in every breath

The stadium is silent and empty while waiting for the crowd to cheer and the players to talk and cheer on the pitch. Coaches’ coaching from the sidelines and referees’ whistles and firm arm gestures are waiting to fill the air. The stadium is quiet and empty in anticipation of the last match of this World Cup and confetti raining from the roof. Maybe there are gold hats and champagne bottles hidden in a corner. The 2017 Women’s Floorball World Cup has reached its final. Will Sweden win its 6th straight World Cup gold? And will my little sister win her 5th Senior World Cup gold?

That answer is not written yet, but my love for my little sister is written everywhere and in every part of me. So while I can’t physically be there this time, some words need to be written down.

To you my heart <3

I have been there and followed you for the last three World Cups you have played. The first time was in 2009 with a new little baby in oversized earmuffs. She slept through the final and woke up when the confetti rained down on us. Oblivious to the fact that her aunt has just won her second senior World Cup gold. It was in Västerås, Sweden.

The next time it happened was in 2011 and I arrived with a baby belly and our father in tow. All the way to a beautiful Switzerland and hotel blankets with fluff I’ll never forget. Again, fun games and a great atmosphere in the stands. Dad and I also got a little VIP pass, which allowed us to taste various treats while waiting for fast balls on the pitch. After winning, we sent you an ICA bag with some “good drinks” for the pre-party in your hotel room. You didn’t hesitate to drag the bag across the field, and in the evening/night we all danced and a few more. In that cramped and semi-crowded shack in that tiny little village somewhere in the mountains of Switzerland. You and your teammates ended up dancing around me to protect your stomach from the other party animals in the place. An evening and night I will never forget!

So it was in 2013, and this time Dad and I headed to the Czech Republic to see you play in the blue and yellow jersey again. Once again wearing self-printed shirts with your name and number on the front and back, we made our way around the stadium. We didn’t want anyone to miss not only which country we were cheering for, but that we were also cheering for that special, safe, cool and stable hill from the northern coast of Sweden. I got my three seconds in the spotlight when I was on TV and you got your fourth World Cup gold. I think we were both happiest for your gold, the spotlight was not for me anyway. This time I didn’t get an after party with you, as it was very unclear if and where it would occur at night. However, we were able to drop by your team dinner and hug a little more. Then I had two good drinks and my father a few beers in a local pub on a December night. We toasted you and trudged home through the night. You not only got to celebrate the World Cup gold medal that night but also dance on the love of your life, can it get much better than that?

So let’s skip 2015, which we can call a misjudged year, and that’s a good thing. To take us directly to today, December 9, 2017.

Then you will once again play a World Cup final in a magnificent stadium. To the sound of Sweden’s national anthem and the excited energies of the crowd, you will fight for your fifth senior World Cup gold. You are so worth this moment. I don’t know if the achievement is the gold or the fact that you’ve been playing this sport for soooo many years. I wonder how many passes you’ve made over the years! All the hours of training, matches, training, matches, training, matches, training…(yes, you get the picture) in a sport that doesn’t pay off in any way, where it’s all about the love of your sport (like so many others), over and over again. Impressed is a massive understatement. Well, sidetracked. Back to this day and the arena.

When I booked our plane tickets for our long stay in Thailand, neither you nor I knew if you would be selected for the squad. I know I really discussed with myself and Jonas whether we would choose to go after the World Cup if you were selected. It was never an option not to be there. At that time. Then you were selected and our decision was that we needed and wanted to go in November. So there I was, with the dilemma of me being in Thailand and you in Slovakia. The only thing that stopped me from going to you, and why I am still here on Koh Lanta writing this letter to you, is the uncertainty of visas and days here and there to stay in Thailand for the entire stay. It would be a bit difficult to have to explain to the rest of the family that my mother has some problems staying in the country. But no faaaara at all, mom solves everything. Or?

So with a VPN tunnel and cleaned lenses in my eyes, I’ll be with you in every step, every movement and every breath you take. I am there when you feel courage, when you rejoice and when you focus. In case you doubt me for a second, I’m right next to you, cheering you on and giving you a small, thick, but damn strong thumbs up. YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON. And I love you with every breath. My love for you does not know that distance sometimes matters.

I’ll high-five you through the screen, send kisses if I see you up close in the picture, and I’ll wheel all the way down to the beach if you win (or I’ll send Neah out on that very task). It really hurts to not be there, and if I had followed my heart, I would be walking around Bratislava in a flip-flop right now. Just this time my heart had to stand back a little, but never my love for you, the most beautiful little sister.

So go out onto the pitch with a proud back and a smile on your face. Fight for another World Cup gold and whatever the result, I’m with you. You know where you have me, in your heart and everywhere. In every breath.

And remember, it’s not floorball that defines you, it’s who you are. I love you <3

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