November 1, 2005

A truly international team

Every team at the Open has an interesting history, but we think this one beats all records when it comes to being international:

Juan Garcia was born in Cuba and moved to Madrid when he was eight. He started playing in the Spanish Petanque Federation from age 12 to 17 when the family moved to Miami. The only times he would still play was on annual vacations back in Spain. Until he discovered Petanque America on the internet in 2001 and started playing again regularly. He is an extremely good pointer and whenever he can he goes to tournaments: in Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Sarasota, Seaside and even Sonoma, CA. Quiet and very concentrated, Juan has become well known and appreciated in petanque circles around the country.


Mamary Coulibaly hails from Bamako, Mali and started playing there as a kid. Mali's petanque league has around 1000 members. Mamary came to Philadelphia to study and forgot all about pétanque until he drove by Loi Nguyen's house (Loi is another story!) and saw him practicing in his front yard. He stopped his car, the two started talking, then playing, heard about our Open tournament in 2003 and flew to Miami as a team. We wondered if Mamary happens to be the great-, great-grandson of King Bitòn Coulibaly who founded the Bamana Empire in Segou, Mali. "Yep", he said.


Juan and Mamary met in Miami in 2003, became friends, noticed that their pétanque skills are complimentary and decided to team up together this year.
We could call them the "Cuba-Mali Team".



If anyone wonders if we enjoy researching and writing these stories: "Yep!"

7 comments:

Jeppy said...

I'm going to get a close haircut JUST LIKE JUAN has... maybe it'll iprove my petanque playing...

Anonymous said...

.......maybe......

Anonymous said...

This Haircut is the legacy of serving eight years in The U.S. Marines.
Juan

Jeppy said...

I'm going to grow out my hair like Marco Foyot...

Anonymous said...

Get ready for the ADVENTURES OF TEAM PETANQUE AMERICA comming soon to a blog near you. ;)

Anonymous said...

Team Petanque America?
That Sounds like FUN, can I Join? keeps us informed please.

Anonymous said...

wow, I'm so sorry that the ADVENTURES OF TEAM PETANQUE AMERICA are cancelled until further notice, I was looking forward to them :(