My Olympics!

POSTED: February 13, 2010

Hello Friends! Welcome to My Olympics!!

A few days ago I began my 2010 Olympic experience in my hometown - beautiful Vancouver. Little did I know so many years ago when I watched my dad curl at the Vancouver Curling that I would find myself leading the Canadian Olympic Women's Curling team on that very site.

Just before I came to Vancouver I spent 4 wonderful days at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sault Ste. Marie - a place where women curling athletes are treated like queens under the watchful ey of the classiest lady in women's curling Robin Wilson. Diamonds, personal drivers, gifts and star quality treatment... it just goes on and on...

Following the stunning Champions Banquet I grabbed a very quick 3 hours of sleep and got up at 3:30 am (Ontario time!!) and set off on my journey to the Vancouver Olympics.

During the past weeks and months everyone in my family has felt the excitement building and now I am finally in the middle of it.

I arrived at the absolutely amazing Athlete Village on Monday and slept with the blinds wide open for two nights as my little single bed faced head onto Science World, the Vancouver landmark that this week takes on a new life as Sochi House, the showcase of the next Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014. The Athlete Village is so breathtaking we were pretty sure we wouldn't be able to even think about curling until we moved out to a hotel where we will reside during the competition.

We were welcomed by the Vancouver Organizing Committee at a Welcome Ceremony on Tuesday evening. Dr. Yang was the MC! Oh I mean Sandra Oh from Greys Anatomy - she had us wrapped around her finger with her energy and spunk. Rick Hansen, the Prime Minister and Governor General were there and it was truly special.

The next day we got to go to the International Broadcast Centre to do one of the those news conferences where everyone sits at the table across the front of the room with microphones. The IBC is at the "sails" the Vancouver Convention Centre and it was a great experience to watch the curling athletes being interviewed by NBC, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, and of course CTV and so many more.

My 4 days in the Village were memorable as there is no more beautiful city in the world than Vancouver. And of course the 24 hour a day all you can eat Athletes Dining Lounge is better than having to cook dinner.

Apparently a record number of Canadians watched the Opening Ceremony and I can tell you I have never been more proud to be Canadian than I was last night. The entire Canadian team marshalled for a pep rally prior to heading over to the holding area. It was pretty amazing to hear stories and reflections from Joe Juneau, astronaut Julie Payettte, Clara Hughes and the hilarious Mark Tewksbury who had us in stitches as he led the "Beaver Cheer". The remark that struck me as the most poignant of the rally was by Joe, former hockey Olympian who told the 2010 team that they were the "Inukshuk" to the young people who will be inpired by them.

I know that everyone watched the glorious Opening Ceremony so I will mention only my absolute highlights (of which there were many!) --

-- walking into that stadium with 60,000 people cheering for Canada is a moment I will never forget...
-- I have a whole new hero-worship for KD Lang who brought us all to tears with her breath-taking Hallelulua song...
-- the moment the torch entered the building carried by Rick Hansen was absolutely magical

So... my Olympics has begun! We will head off to (finally) practice in the official venue tomorrow. Tonight I am decorating the women's team private lounge we have created at the hotel.

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