TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Team USA Taekwondo athlete Samery Moras kept a vlog on her YouTube channel of her entire 7-day experience participating in at the 2017 Taipei Universiade including the flight over, the "riots" during the opening ceremony, her team's competition, life in the athlete's village, and a trip to Taipei 101.
Moras, 25, a third degree black belt in Taekwondo and Business Major at the University of Utah, already has nearly 20,000 followers on her YouTube channel, but started to gain attention in Taiwan with her daily vlogs covering her experience participating the Universiade.
Despite having an ankle surgery only four months ago, Samery was able to qualify at the collegiate tryouts in April to make the US team in the group Taekwondo poomsae (forms, 品勢) category. Her team made it to the finals and finished in 7th place.
Before flying to Taipei, she first meets with her teammates in Sacramento, California to perfect the coordination and timing of their group form for the Universiade. They then visit Sacramento's famous Candy Heaven.
She covers the flight over to Taipei and gives an inside look of the living accommodations at the athlete's village.
Labeled as "Opening Ceremonies & Riots at World University Games," the third video covers some training by the Taekwondo athletes and the rowdy huge crowds outside the stadium. Only a brief glimpse can be see of the unfair pension reform protesters that disrupted the event and she videos some athletes posing for photos with some Free Tibet protesters.
She then shows the vantage point of Team USA in a staging area where her teammates and other athletes eagerly await the opening ceremony with anticipation. However, they are suddenly informed that they will not be able to enter the main stadium due to "riots" outside. She is greatly disappointed when they are informed that they would have get on a bus and go back to the village, but they were later told it was safe to march.
She then shows the team finally entering the main stadium and then many friendly Taiwanese staff members greeting them on the way out.
Moras shows video highlights of her team Taekwondo poomsae (forms) competition. Moras talks of the difficulties in training for the event with teammates from different parts of the US. They were happy that were able to reach the finals in the category. Her teammate Adalis J Munoz's bronze medal was significant as she was the first Taekwondo team member and first American to medal at the 2017 Taipei Universiade.
She starts with the mundane task of doing laundry and on the way sees announcements of the latest Team USA medalists. Taiwanese staff apparently wash the clothes for them, but they still have to hang dry them as there are very few driers. She shows the view out the window with many athletes flying the flags of their home countries in their windows. She runs into a few massively tall US basketball players. She then shows the many festive activities in the village such as Latin dance.
The then shows the athlete's canteen. She notes that the Italian line is always the longest and busiest. She then grabs some Taiwanese bubble tea.
She does an official tour of the athlete's village, which is strictly off limits except for the athletes and authorized personnel. In her tour she shows the cafeteria, beauty salon, currency exchange, post office, ice baths, florists, dry cleaners, Family Mart convenience store, game rooms, virtual reality station, flag plaza, laundry room, souvenir shop, "Team Taipei's" dorm, and lastly Team USA's quarters.
Moras hits the Xinyi district and tries the famous Taiwanese popcorn chicken. She then shows the inside of elevator that runs to the top of Taipei 101 in record time. On the way up, the elevator suddenly turns black and a constellation of stars appears. She then shows the spectacular view of the city at night. Next, is footage of Taipei 101's tuned mass damper before she heads higher to view the open air vista. To demonstrate the speed of the elevator, she videos the entire, short journey.
Moras' Universiade adventure came to an end, and on Aug. 29 she posted on her Facebook page that she was "Back in the states, but already missing Taiwan."