Mirsha and Derlyn: The Yooyuball Gnorbu Twins
Round two of Yooyuball has started and is underway, but many Neopians couldn’t help noticing that Kreludor’s team captain, Derlyn Fonnet, and Shenkuu’s captain, Mirsha Grelinek, looked almost alike other than the fact that one was painted purple. It wasn’t until later that we soon found out they were actually twins and both were very passionate about Yooyuball. The Neopian Times managed to arrange an interview in between matches where the two talented athletes were able to sit down, slurp some slushies, and talk about their experiences. After we were all settled, I started asking the two athletes questions.
Me: What made you both interested in Yooyuball?
Mirsha: Well, you know, it was actually just the billboards and adverts all over Neopia. Both of us were bored and you know, we needed something to do. Yooyuball gave us that opportunity.
Derlyn: However, it has been a strange year. The first Altador Cup didn’t have Shenkuu as a team and Mirsha actually was hesitant to sign up to practice for a team. She decided she wasn’t ready and didn’t enter the tournament. Then the next year, my team’s training facility broke down so I couldn’t play and Mirsha went to play for Shenkuu. It seemed that Neopia didn’t want us in the tournament together. But this year is different. My sister and I are both in the tournament and we truly enjoy playing for our teams, especially when we’re facing each other.
Me: I see, so you guys are really into this Yooyuball thing. How was training?
Mirsha: Really boring, actually. The practice team was just too easy! I commented to my team once that we should play some real Yooyuball. We started throwing Yooyus at each other and it turned out to be quite a mess when the only yooyus we had left were clockwork. That was the day when I got in trouble for endangering the team. Clockwork yooyus do hurt a bit. I was quick, though. I told my team to just take them and practice shooting goals. Xana DiLanche dumped her slushie on me later that day.
Derlyn: I should say that Kreludor is at sort of a disadvantage. The gravity issue has never been helpful to us. I mean, playing at lower gravity contributes to the moonwalking factor. It’s a lot easier and the players move a lot faster when they practice on Kreludor. We’ve tried to increase gravity at our training facility but it can never be upscaled to 100% Neopia gravity. We did get some practice in Altador shortly before the games began. Some of my teammates complained that it was hard and they were easily tired. I asked them why they came all the way to complain. If that’s what they wanted to do, I could have called for the space shuttle and sent everyone home. Of course, they didn’t want to go home, they wanted to play. I never heard another complaint on my team after that incident.
Me: So you do consider each team as yours since you’re both team captains. How did you all become team captains?
Derlyn and Mirsha (together): Because Gnorbus pwn!
Derlyn: Okay, the real reason? We never actually wanted to be team captains. We only did what our team wished for us. If they wanted us to be captains, then it would be a huge betrayal if we did not follow through with their wishes. It’s all about loyalty and what the team thinks. We never voted ourselves to be team captain, but the other teammates seemed to think that we were fit for the job. Mirsha, do you have anything to add?
Mirsha: No, not really. Except that team captain isn’t always a fun job. You get the burden of hearing your teammates whine sometimes. Sometimes it is very stressful since you are seen as a role model. You live with the expectation that you must perform well every day so your teammates have someone to look up to. However, I do like my job. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know each and every one of my teammates. I enjoy learning about their lives, and helping them out when they need help. Foltaggio especially needed a bit of help. He was always so frustrated with his own performance. One time he got so frustrated that I found him alone, on the sidelines, with a sad face. I asked him what was wrong. He told me he wanted to be left alone. I told him that he didn’t have to score every single goal to be recognized as a good player. I told him his performance already exceeded my expectations and that if he was to go any further, he would hurt himself. After a while, he nodded and walked back onto the field. He still periodically falls into a mode of frustration. I enjoy helping him and the rest of my team.
Me: Looks like you care very much about the players. But why Shenkuu and why Kreludor?
Mirsha: Shenkuu is a place of tradition and culture. I’ve always wanted to explore Neopia and thought that Shenkuu had a lot of things to offer that I thoroughly enjoy. During the off season, I enjoy Shenkuu River Rush and Shenkuu Warrior. The food there is amazing and the culture is rich and full of traditions not found anywhere else in Neopia.
Derlyn: Yeah, but none of that is as interesting as being totally off of Neopia on Kreludor where we have Neocola and a full view of the Neopia and the distant stars. I can never enjoy the night sky in Neopia with all the bright lights at night and clouds. Stargazing is my hobby and I enjoy every bit of it during the off season.
Mirsha: *scowls at her sister*
Derlyn: *playfully pokes her sister*
Me: Now now, no fighting! We all know each place in Neopia is special in its own way. One final question, how do you think your teams will do in the Altador Cup this year?
Derlyn: Speculating is always full of bias and I’m always afraid to speculate because of the bashing that might come back around. I’d say Kreludor has done pretty well this year considering they were out of the tournament last year. I mean, I think we’re in the top four. We’ve done well, but I can’t take all the credit. My team is what has really helped, and our fans have been awesome, lifting our spirits in times of trouble.
Mirsha: I have to admit Shenkuu did get off to a bad start. Our schedule was tough and we knew that. I have no doubt that our matches were very close, but the opposition was just stronger. However, during the second round, I see potential for a comeback. Perhaps we’ll make it into the final four. I’d love to have a final match against my sister. It’ll be my wish, though I do not care which one of us wins. In the meantime, I’d like to congratulate Roo Island, Haunted Woods, and Krawk Island for their hard earned victories against us and I’d like to thank everybody for the great matches and opportunities. My sister didn’t agree with the draw result at the end of the Kreludor vs Shenkuu match. She said the goal was shot before the whistle. I told her that the crowd was screaming too loudly and she probably couldn’t hear much. She just scowled at me. But hey, at least the Altador Cup makes it so I don’t have to put up with her every day. *laughs* I’m only joking, Derlyn.
Derlyn: You better be joking or I’ll have to challenge you to a one on one yooyu shootout. But yeah, we don’t fight often; we bicker from time to time. We definitely miss each other when offseason training starts and we have to go our separate ways. When we’re together, though, I live with my sister at Shenkuu.
Me: I see; well, thank you for your time. It is much appreciated. I enjoyed this interview and learning more about you both. Good luck to you and your teams during the Altador Cup.
Mirsha and Derlyn: It’s always our pleasure. Now we must go back onto the field now, our next match is starting soon. Enjoy the rest of the Altador Cup.