euro
Photo by PoPville flickr user Pablo Raw

Washington, DC Embassies Weigh in on the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship
By Christopher Teed of DC Embassy Events

The UEFA European Championship returns June 10th this year at venues across France. For those not familiar with the soccer tournament, it is hosted every 4 years in between World Cups, and currently features 24 teams who qualified from across Europe. This will be the third time France has hosted the event, hosting the inaugural event in 1960, and again in 1984. Spain, the current champions from 2012, has had the most success in the history of the tournament, winning 3 times, the same amount of titles as Germany. Having won the tournament the last time they hosted in 1984, France is the favorite this year, along with a strong German team.

This is also the first year that the UEFA European Championship has expanded from sixteen to twenty four teams, giving many more fans across Europe the chance to watch their beloved home sides. While there are some perennial favorites in the tournament, this season’s English Premier League champion Leicester City is evidence that anyone can win, however long the odds. We went to the foreign embassy staff here in Washington to get some insight into why they think their team can win the tournament this year.

Ambassador of Austria, HE Wolfgang A. Waldner: “Having competed numerous times in the FIFA world cup, it may come as a surprise that Austria has qualified for a EURO tournament for the first time ever! And what a resounding qualification it has been: With a commanding series of nine wins and one draw, Austria qualified without a single defeat in a very strong group. Furthermore, Austrian players were also hugely successful with their respective clubs: David Alaba won his fourth German Bundesliga title in a row with Bayern Munich, our team captain Christian Fuchs rose to fame with the unexpected English Premier League champion Leicester City, and Marc Janko and Aleksandar Dragovic won their leagues with Swiss FC Basel and Ukrainian Dynamo Kiev. These successes make Austria proud and prove how far we have come in recent years: From the modest FIFA ranking number 94 in 2007, Austria has risen like a Phoenix to the eleventh best team in the world today! Besides, not less than six players in Austria’s starting eleven have an immigrant background: With family roots in Angola, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Serbia or Turkey, all our players grew up and flourished in Austria, serving as a perfect illustration of modern Austria: A multitude of religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds forming one pluralistic society. And this summer, we will grow even closer together with our shared goal: Winning the EURO 2016!”

Economic Information Officer, Embassy of Belgium, Bart Deelen: “Belgium can not only win Euro2016, they should be considered one of the favorites to do so. The current Belgian team is known as Belgium’s Golden Generation. And for good reason: with few exceptions, many of the players are stars with some of Europe’s top teams. (more…)

ElReyFUTsquare

From an email:

“What: Summer of Futbol at El Rey
When: Friday, June 3rd through Sunday, July 9th

Drink Specials:
During Group Stage: $3 Natty Boh Tallboys, $6 Margaritas. Wear your team’s jersey for $5 shots of Vibora.
During Knockout Rounds: $4 Corona Light draft and Corona Bottles + previous specials. Wear your team jersey for $5 shots of Avion Silver and Avion Espresso
During Semis and Finals: $4 Micheladas, $8 Icebergs + previous specials. Wear your team’s jersey for $5 Del Maguey Vida shots”

el rey
919 U Street, NW

roland garros
Photo by PoPville flickr user m01229

From a press release:

“To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open, Tennis Channel has partnered with Trade Center Management Associates at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to create the first U.S. public viewing space dedicated to the tournament here in our nation’s capital. The First Counsellor, Mr. Patrick Lachaussee, will speak briefly about sports diplomacy and then flip the switch on the viewing screen, officially opening the venue to the public. Remarks will also be provided by Robyn Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Tennis Channel, and John P. Drew, President and CEO of Trade Center Management Associates (TCMA).

Events like these build a cultural bridge through sports, and Trade Center Management Associates, the manager of the Reagan Building’s daily activities, is proud to be hosting an event that helps further their mission of uniting the international and D.C. community.

Where: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

When: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM; Monday, May 23rd

What: Official opening of the first U.S. public viewing space dedicated to the French Open

This is a free, public event. A 14 ft. screen located at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza will show live coverage from Paris May 23-27 from 7 AM – 7 PM daily.

rock the red
Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Tomorrow, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Events DC and the Washington Capitals, including owner Ted Leonsis and alumni Rod Langway and Alan May, will come together to celebrate a historic NHL regular season and kickoff the upcoming playoffs during a Capitals ‘Rock the Red’ Fan Rally at Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.

The Mayor will also officially proclaim April 14th, the first day of the Capitals’ playoff run, as ‘Rock the Red’ Day in the District.

Capitals fans are invited to Carnegie Library from 1-3 p.m. to participate in the fan rally. In addition, the Capitals’ Rock the Red Ride of Fame bus will be on-site as well as Red Rockers, mascot Slapshot and food trucks. The event also features giveaways, music and other surprises. Attendees are strongly encouraged to wear red at this event.

Playoffs begin Thursday at the Verizon Center at 7 p.m., where the Capitals will host the Philadelphia Flyers. This is the fifth time the Capitals and Flyers have met in the postseason and the first playoff meeting between the teams since 2008. (more…)

kiley
Photo by Kiley

Well this turned out pretty freaking awesome. Kiley writes:

“Just casually watching a sumo wrestling match from our rooftop.”

sumo
Photo by Nicole

Nicole writes:

“Just got there for the very end of the event, but it was awesome and fun! This was right before the kid in the green jacket “fought” the “biggest man in Japanese history,” who is a 600 lb sumo champion.”

CfKdcBNWEAEGn_n
Photo by PoPville flickr user Reana Kovalcik

Reana writes:

“Well, I had the coolest day ever ringside at #sumosunday.”

sumo
Photo by PoPville flickr user Reana Kovalcik

boathouse
Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

All of the nice weather has reminded me of the potentially wasted 200 dollars I spent for a season pass at Boating in DC – they lost the bid this year to operate out of the Key Bridge Boathouse. Navy Yard hasn’t had paddle boards in the past and National Harbor is a hike and a half without a car. Have you heard anything about who actually won the bid?”

From Paul of Boating in DC:
“We did not get the bid to operate the Key Bridge boathouse. It will be open under new management and we are working on having our season passes accepted there. We expect to have an answer before the season starts and will notify season pass holders.”

presidents
Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

From a press release:

“Nationals Host 2016 Racing Presidents Auditions on January 17

WHAT: Washington Nationals fans will have a chance to run for office when they try out to become one of the Racing Presidents on Sunday, January 17 at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.

Candidates looking to fill the shoes of George, Tom, Abe, Teddy and Bill have been invited to the Youth Baseball Academy to perform a freestyle dance, run a 40-yard dash and participate in two races from center field to first base. In addition, each applicant will be required to answer questions from a panel of Nationals entertainment staff members.

Racing hopefuls were pre-selected from a pool of applicants who submitted their cover letter and resume. Participation in the tryout is by invitation only and not open to the public. Tryouts will take place regardless of weather conditions. (more…)