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Montenegro is known for its wondrous outdoor scenery and historic old towns (filled with cats) but, Josephine Skriver is pulling back the curtain on some of the country’s most popular indoor sports. The 2022 SI Swimsuit model dove in head first and scored, playing handball and water polo with the best of the best in Montenegro.
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The sport of handball features two teams of seven facing off while trying to throw a ball into each other’s goal. (Think of it as soccer except you can use your hands.) Skriver was guided by FK Budućnost Podgorica coach Bojana Popovic. Joining Popovic’s side, Skriver warmed up with the team by running sprints in the gymnasium. Then Popovic went over some basics: passing, shooting, juking and combination play. “I love a dynamic warm-up like they did today,” Skriver said. “And I think they’re about to start a game so let’s see if I don’t make a full fool of myself because I’m definitely a little nervous with this skill level.”
Skriver put her teachings to the test in an exhibition match and scored big, earning a point for her team. The entire team cheered in celebration. “My attempt to try and conquer the court did pretty well, I would say for myself, but now it’s off to water polo. So let’s see how that goes,” Skriver said.
Water polo is similar to handball except it’s played in the water. Two teams of seven are tasked with scoring on the opposing team's goal while treading and swimming in a pool. “I’m a little terrified,” Skriver admitted. “I’m not sure what the rules are, but we’ll see if it involves a lot of drowning. But you know, you gotta do what makes you uncomfortable? Right?”
Budvanska Rivjera player Stefan Kovacevic explained that they’d be playing a regulation match of four eight-minute quarters. But first, Kovacevic needed to teach Skriver the three basic moves: swimming, blocking and shooting. After joining the team for a freestyle swimming warm-up, Skriver learned how to tread water while passing and shooting the ball. Then it was time for a real game. Dipping and diving, wrestling and passing, the two teams battled it out in the pool. Skriver came out victorious, scoring again. “This is no joke. I mean, I was doing barely anything and I’m dying,” she admitted. “You scored a goal! That was perfect,” Kovacevic said.
Wrapping up her day of activity, Skriver gushed, “Today was absolutely so awesome. It was very challenging. I mean, I am beat. I feel so grateful that these teams let me work out with them today.” The next day, Skriver appeared luminous and refreshed shooting for her 2022 SI Swimsuit appearance. Maybe it was the day of sports that gave her that extra burst of shine.