The sea surf in the evening light, the silhouettes of two dancing women on the beach, a ferris wheel lights up in the background, plus the spherical sounds of Billie Eilish's "Ocean Eyes".
Break in the Volleyball Nations League in Rimini.
Player Denise Imoudu and diagonal attacker Kimberly Drewniok use the possibilities of breathing deeply for 51 seconds of art in everyday life and let the world participate in their break.
"Happiness lives in the smallest of moments," writes Imoudu on her Instagram account.
"You make life so much easier," comments Drewniok.
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For almost four weeks, the two athletes, like the entire German national volleyball team and 15 other international teams, have been living in a corona bubble on the Italian Adriatic.
They have to hold out for a few more days.
After four out of five game blocks have been completed in the long-term tournament, the sporting interim result is mediocre from a German point of view.
Of twelve games against the assembled world elite, the German team was able to win just four.
Before the final three games from Friday to Sunday, "the butterflies" rank twelve out of 16 nations.
A result according to their world rankings, but they actually wanted to work their way up.
"We had ups and downs," admits Imoudu in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Own performance "quite okay"
After a decent start with two wins against Belgium and Holland in the first week, national coach Felix Koslowski's team suffered five defeats in a row.
The Germans awarded four match points against the world number one, China, and lost to the weaker teams from Canada and Thailand.
In addition, captain Jennifer Geerties and the second setter Magdalena Gryka were injured and had to leave after the second tournament block.
It was only in the fourth phase that the interplay of processes started to work better again, the top team from Brazil faced a 1: 3 paroli, and Poland defeated 3: 0.
Imoudu also classifies her own performance as “quite okay”. It is the first year in which the 25-year-old acts as the first setter after long-time playmaker Denise Hanke ended her career. "I think we all had our own personal low," she recapitulates over the past few weeks, with blocks of three games and three days of training alternating. Their conclusion as a whole is nevertheless positive: “Such a long tournament welds together. The Nations League was positive for the team feeling. "
Even if you “get on your nerves” from time to time, as Imoudu admits, the group dynamics worked: “It's a nice feeling to have pulled it off together.” Despite the long duration of the tournament, the time wasn't long for her: "I don't have any major problems with that," she says: "I also devote myself to other projects, read a lot, the day is full."
She also used the free time to expand her knowledge for training as a coach.
Imoudu's nearer sporting future has also been clarified: In the Bundesliga, the Uckermark-born will continue to play for cup winners Schweriner SC, who is also coached by Koslowski.
And with the national team, the European Championships are due for them from August 18th.
Imoudu's nearer sporting future has also been clarified: In the Bundesliga, the Uckermark-born will continue to play for cup winners Schweriner SC, who is also coached by Koslowski. And with the national team, the European Championships are due for them from August 18th. Germany will meet the teams from hosts Bulgaria, Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic and Greece. And in contrast to the Nations League, the butterflies are then even in the favorite role, because four of their five EM group opponents did not even make it into the illustrious circle of the 16 top teams in the world league.
Participation in the Nations League thus also served the collective self-confidence. And because the corona bubble held up well in Rimini, the measures there could even be relaxed over time. The players were not only allowed to go to the hotel's own beach for an hour a day, as initially planned, but whenever there was time. And even if Denise Imoudu, who privately prefers to be out in the great outdoors with a camper, friends and dogs, is not considered a designated hotel type, that made the tournament atmosphere more bearable of course: “Almost a bit of holiday feeling”.