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Interview with Ursula, Famed Gormball Player


by a_ramsell

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Welcome, fellow Neopians! Tell me; are you as excited for the Annual Gormball Championships as I am? I’m especially thrilled today because I had the great privilege earlier this week of speaking with one of Neopia’s most talented Gormball players, Ursula the Usul. Ursula, a dedicated Gormball player since the first Annual Gormball Championships in Year 2, is well-known among fans and fellow players alike for her commitment and consistency. She has been on the podium a total of nine times over the years, which gives her the distinction of appearing on the podium more times than any of her fellow competitors! Now, let’s get to the interview!

Ursula, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview even though it’s so close to the Annual Gormball Championships. I know your training regimen is quite extensive, so I I truly appreciate this opportunity.

“Oh, it’s entirely my pleasure! I can’t train 24/7, you know, so it’s nice to get a little break sometimes.”

I can imagine! Speaking of training regimens, can you tell us a little about what a typical training day is like for you?

“Well, I don’t want to share all my trade secrets, but I can give you a general idea of what a typical training day is like. I get up at 6 a.m. and eat a healthy breakfast. I’m at the training facility by 7:30 sharp. After some stretching and warm-up activities, we simulate all sorts of possible in-game situations. This allows me to fine-tune a wide variety of strategies for any situation. After that, we break for lunch, and then it’s on to playing full practice games. Then I cool down for about 30 minutes before I head home, around 6 p.m.”

Wow, that sounds intense. Do you train every day?

“Almost every day, yes. What I described here is my routine for a typical weekday. On weekends I still train, but mornings only. And when the Championships get close, about a month away, I go in earlier and stay later. I don’t mind at all, though; in fact, I’m happy to do it! My love for Gormball runs deep. And not only do I love Gormball, but I really hate losing at it! The water goes everywhere when the Gormball explodes and gets my fur all wet. It takes ages to dry, and that’s so annoying. That’s great motivation on days when I want to cut out early, because if I win, I stay dry!”

You are definitely quite devoted to the sport! It’s clear your commitment has paid off, since you’ve been on the podium more than any other player. Despite all your success as a professional Gormball player, we don’t usually see much about you. Why do you think that is?

“That’s been my desire, to be honest, mainly due to my intense training schedule. I want to spend as much time as possible, honing my abilities. I’ve noticed recently, though, that interest in Gormball has dropped off a bit, and I thought bringing more publicity to the event through this interview could only benefit the Annual Gormball Championships and the great game of Gormball in general. Folks are often distracted often by shiny, new things, but I truly believe Gormball is a classic game that has staying power because of its simplicity and ability to appeal to a wide audience, and I want to remind people of that. I want people to be playing Gormball for many years to come.”

Well said, Ursula! I wholeheartedly agree. Now, let’s talk about the upcoming match. Who do you see as your greatest competition?

“I think I’m going to shock a lot of Neopians with this, but I know Kevin has what it takes to reach the top of the podium this year. I know he has technically received first place once in the past, but that was only because Brian was disqualified and Kevin was awarded first place by default. It’s hard to say who would have won if everything had been played fairly, but I know Kevin really wants to prove he has what it takes to win on his own merit. He’s stepped up his training in order to stay competitive, and I’ve seen great improvement from him in recent years. The whole nocturnal thing is a bit of an obstacle for him, you know, but he’s so dedicated that he’s been getting up earlier so he can train in the afternoons as well as his usual evening sessions. I really admire his dedication. If I don’t win this year, I’d be happy to see Kevin atop the podium. I love a good underdog story!”

You’ve placed 2nd and 3rd in Years 16 and 17, respectively. Do you think you have what it takes to win this year?

“Without a doubt! My years of training at Mount Usalin gave me the discipline to keep my focus no matter what. This may sound cheesy, but I’ve really felt like I’m one with the Gormball in my training sessions lately. I can sense exactly when I should throw it, and I rarely fail. I often hear Neopians claim Gormball is just luck, but that’s so far from the truth. It also requires great hand-eye coordination and a sense of perfect timing. After lots and lots of practice, I can confidently say I’ve got both!”

Ursula, thank you so much for all your insightful dialogue regarding Gormball and the Annual Gormball Championships. I’d love to take a few minutes here at the end to learn more about Ursula the Neopian, separate from Ursula the professional Gormball player. Is that okay with you?

“Oh, yes! This sounds like fun! Fire away.”

I know you don’t have much free time, but what do you like to do when you’re not practicing or competing?

“I love to play Wingoball, if you can believe it! I really enjoy the peaceful gardens, and it’s a great way to fine-tune my aim, timing, and hand-eye coordination.”

Wow, it seems like you’ve got Gormball on your mind all the time! But that surely can’t be the case, right? Do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

“Sure, I like reading. My favorite book would have to be How To Be A Gormball Champ, obviously.” *grins impishly*

*chuckles ruefully* Well, that’s about all the time we have for today. Thank you, Ursula, for taking the time to speak with me, and best of luck in the Annual Gormball Championships!

“Thanks so much! This was lots more fun than I expected; in fact, I might have to give more interviews! Apparently I love talking about Gormball almost as much as I love playing it. Please swing by and cheer me on!”

And there you have it, folks; Ursula’s first Neopian Times interview! I hope you enjoyed gaining some insight into one of Neopia’s most recognizable figures in the game of Gormball. Happy Annual Gormball Championships to you, and may all your Gormball games end dry!

 
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