A Cinderella Story

And that’s a wrap – Germany wins the world cup.

But not before a team filled with heart and spirit went farther than anyone ever imagined.

Costa Rica’s La Sele became the team that found its way into the hearts of people around the world.

Our World Cup run ended may have early, but the legacy of what was accomplished will continue to live on in the hearts of the wonderful Costa Rican people, as well as all around the world. I’m so blessed to live alongside such loving, lively, and beautiful people who allow me to feel like an ADOPTED Tica. It’s not common to find fans who will still parade the streets after a loss in support of their team. Costa Rica, I love you. # costarica # vivalasele # cinderellastory -Emmanuelle Quitzau

20140709-232718-84438537.jpgWhile the day we lost, Ticos may not have stayed out long after the game, the people of Costa Rica continued to hold their heads up with pride. Although they would no longer be competing for the World Cup, we were incredibly proud of how far their team came and how well they played throughout the entire tournament. It’s not everyday that your team loses and people are still honking their horns in the street. Costa Rica made it farther than they ever had and only lost to the Netherlands in a close shoot-out. Costa Rica made its presence known and showed the world what we were capable of. We made our story known: A Cinderella Story, accomplishing what no one thought we could.

The Tuesday after they lost, La Sele (Costa Rica’s team) returned home.  The Tico times released event details to celebrate their return : 3 pm in La Sabana. Tens of thousands of fans were expected to be there.

20140709-232718-84438343.jpgThis may have been the biggest understatement I have ever heard. My friends and I show up to La Sabana around 2:15 pm and fans have already lined the street starting at least 5 miles away. Some people that we met had been there since 8:30 am. The crowd was absolutely insane, people filled streets and sidewalks that weren’t closed and waited for La Sele to join. Around 5 pm there was still no sign of the team. People were growing antsy but no one moved. Fans ran into the closest restaurants and grocery stores to refuel, but no one was moving. The news had reported La Sele left the airport at 3 pm and had been headed our way ever since. So what took a 30 minute drive so long??

People. Hundred of thousands. Fans. Crowded streets.

The welcome bus was moving so slow due to the enormous crowd of people who were there starting at the airport and continuing all the way to where I was. The bus could barely move and continuously stopped to say hi to fans, sign jerseys, and smile for a picture. Around 6 pm, we decided that the team was nowhere near us (the news showed people walking right behind the bus – like a parade) and that we should sadly go home while we still have the chance and before it gets dark.

Thankfully, there was only traffic on the main road and we were able to make it home in a good time via taxi. Once home we watched the news, continuing to see the bus make its way to La Sabana. At 7:15 pm, La Sele finally made it – 4 plus hours after expected. But not to worry there were now even more fans than before all ready for the concert and welcome ceremony to start. Around 9:30 the concert finally ended and people started to disperse home. Although we weren’t there – we still felt the pride and spirit of the entire country. It’s not everyday you get to see an enormous celebration for a team that “didn’t” go all the way. But believe me when I say this – we went all the way and more. We made history. We made others fall in love with us. We made tears. We made ourselves known. 20140709-232718-84438123.jpg

La Sele will forever be my team and I am so incredibly proud of what they were able to be. Experiencing the World Cup here was an event of a life time. I am so lucky I was able to be a part of it.

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