Golfer Abraham Ancer is so determined to make the most of his Olympic experience that he is sharing a flat in the athletes’ Village with Mexico’s equestrian team, even though it means a three-hour round trip to the course.
“We were originally going to stay in a hotel, but it was still about an hour away,” Mexico’s world No. 23 said. “So this is the first time that I’ve ever been to a village. It’s been so cool just getting to talk to some of these athletes from around the world that are just so good at what they do. You don’t really have the chance to do that ever.”
Mexican teammate Carlos Ortiz is staying with some of his country’s boxers.
“The village is something I have never really seen,” said Ortiz at Kasumigaseki Country Club, where the men’s golf tournament begins on Thursday. “When you go up to the room it’s pretty cool seeing all the different flags in the buildings hanging out.”
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Ancer said he had discovered to his surprise he had friends in common with his new equestrian flatmates.
“I would never have guessed,” he said. “One of the guys that is staying there is a little bit older than me but he has some ranches kind of close to where I grew up. I know some of the guys that have visited his ranch. I thought that was pretty cool because I had no idea who I was going to stay with or who were the guys.”
But Ortiz did explain the downside to staying in the village, which is in the heart of Tokyo’s Olympic district, when the golf is being played some 70km away near Saitama.
“The only thing that can be a little bit crazy is just the transportation, it takes about an hour and a half. I normally like to get to my tee time two hours before to eat and work out and hit some balls, so with an 8.15am tee time on Thursday it means a very early start. So that’s the only down side. But I think it’s the right move. I mean I just want to get the full Olympic experience.”