In the end of 2004 I was in Thailand working at a women’s soccer championship, the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup. Exactly one month later, the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia heavily hit one of the competition’s venues: Phuket, a southern province.
Phuket consists of the island of Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, and 32 other smaller islands off the coast. That’s where those amazing beaches you normally see in pictures promoting Thailand are located.
To me, Phuket is not associated with beaches, but with this small stadium in the photo. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to enjoy the beaches, as I was focused on the competition. That’s where team USA played its 3 matches at the group stage.
As everybody only talked about the victims in the resorts and on the streets, I don’t know what happened to the stadium. But I keep this memory in hopes that it will again be as charming and lively as in November 2004.