A few days have gone since our return from Rio and the Olympic Games and I am still delighted to have gone through the experience, both as a team and personally as a coach.
I am sure that we all grew and rugby took a giant step towards a promising future, much better than what it already is today.
Having heard all the stories in the build up to travelling to Rio de Janeiro, nothing can really prepare you for what it means being in an Olympic Games.
Living it was much, much bigger than the dream. From our arrival at the Olympic Village, the Opening Ceremony, our debut against the USA … everything was unique and unbelievable.
We were lucky that we arrived in good health having grown and shown consistency throughout the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. This gave us sufficient confidence in ourselves going into the first game.
"Nada te prepara para lo que significa estar en un Juego Olímpico."
That debut against the USA was a key factor of how our Games unfolded. It was a very tough game because of the tournament-ending, and long-term, injuries to Javier Rojas after only 10 seconds and to Rodrigo Etchart five minutes later.
Not to be our destiny
On top of that, we had three yellow cards as we came to grips with decisions that went against us. It was energy sapping, and something that would haunt us in the long-term.
Fortunately, we managed to turn the game around thanks to the heart and commitment of a hungry team, but I think there and then we began to bleed. Allowed to replace only one of the two injured players was tough as a squad of 11 rather than 12 is a problem at his level. But we were not the only ones to suffer injuries.
From that opening game, we took each match as it came, focusing on qualifying from our pool and then see how far we could go, always aiming for a medal.
In the quarter-finals, Great Britain was a great opponent. We played a very good game and we actually had more opportunities but failed to turn them into points. I guess it was destiny that had written that we wouldn't go through because we had a clear opportunity in the first half and then the penalty kick we missed with the last play. Then, in sudden death, their penalty kick hits the post and that also played against us.
Despite the hard yards to reach Rio, sometimes luck plays its part and it can push you one way or the other.
I cherish the huge effort and passion of the boys who wanted to prove themselves to the world and to the many Argentines that travelled to Brazil how much they are prepared to do to defend their colours.
Tokyo 2020 planning starts now
Sometimes they don’t follow us because we play far from home and at ungodly hours on television. This was a great opportunity and even if we did not manage to get our hands on a medal, they did show how much they love the game of rugby and their never-die attitude.
Proof of this was the game against Australia, when we were down 21-0 and they found it within themselves to turn it around.
In the last game against New Zealand the energy was already very low and we were playing against a great team. Sometimes, motivation is not easy when you are not playing for a prize.
It was a really positive experience for what the team produced and because it was all part of a well-planned process. The team was capable of winning a medal. Not having won one really hurt, more so for how things developed.
I think that in the future, the Olympic Games will be the main goal for every country and as such we must start planning ahead for Tokyo 2020.
Of course, before that I need a good break and to finish mapping out my own future.
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