Sera Doğramacı was kind enough to provide some comments regarding her experience at the IIHF WWC tournament in Iceland in late February, where she was named Turkey’s most valuable player of the tournament. This would be Sera’s final tournament representing her country and she reflected on how far the national team has come since she has been a part of it. I apologise for only writing this article now, two months later, but I am sure you will agree that a lot has gone on. On a personal note I lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had to adjust to my university studies being moved online, and have been planning a wedding (quite fun in the time of a pandemic!). Anyway, without further ado, here are Sera’s comments.
I came into this tournament knowing it would be my last one and really only because I wanted to play against my Aussie friends one more time. I last faced them in 2016 when I had just had a baby 4 months earlier, and we lost 12 something.
A clearer mindset, longer and better preparation, and a determination to battle meant we only lost 2-1 this time round. A clear indication of how far Team Turkey has come in a short space of time.
I’m grateful for the chance to play against some of my closest friends, for having the Aussie parents in the stands cheering for me, and for being awarded Best Player for Team Turkey for a third time. I retire from international duties happy and grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way.
Is there a particularly fond or memorable event from your international career that you have? A particular game, an encounter, or something that was a disaster at the time that you can look back at and laugh?
I have A LOT of stories. I was on the first Aussie women’s team way back in 1996. I was 13. Many adventures since. But if we’re just talking IIHF tournies… zero regrets for anything and everything I did along the way.
This year would have to be the most special and rewarding one. Of course playing against some of my best friends was special.
What was a lovely gesture however, was my friend Gudlaug (Thorsteinsdottir; former Iceland goalie now linesman), at the end of my final game, she came up to me and handed me the game puck, saying she kept it for me because it was my last game puck.
She also had a photo printed for me.
It was just so beautiful what our hockey world has given me. International friends. Of all my stories this has to be the most special and captures what it’s all about.
That photo with the puck is sensational. It sounds like an international community, is that fair?
Absolutely. I’m grateful with my opportunities that I have international friends all around the world. E.g. we travelled to North America on our honeymoon and pretty much every city we stayed in, we had a friend’s house to stay in. Everyone seems to know everyone.
That’s it, thanks for reading, apologies to Sera for the delay in getting this article together. It seems like an eternity since the last competitive ice hockey match, I hope you are all coping okay.
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