I have to give a little shout out to SCOTT in the Canadian clinic here at the 08 Beijing Games!!!!
Here's that blog I promised you :)
Ever since I was a little girl my favorite part of every Olympics was getting to watch the Opening Ceremonies. I would always wake up or stay up to watch the entire thing live no matter what. There's just something about it that's so hard to describe. It's a celebration of years of hard work, dedication, passion and commitment. Honestly, it's what dreams are made of. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. Thousands of the best athletes from around the world in one place, at one time....pretty incredible. The feeling in the village before it all started was electrifying. Everyone was so pumped up, so ready to go and just so excited. I don't think I have ever looked forward to something more in my life. This time I wasn't sitting at home watching from my couch, but stepping out onto that track in front of millions of people! I can't even tell you how many times I've watched Canada march into the stadium and imagined myself there one day. It was hard to believe that I was actually going to be one of them. As I put on our Opening Ceremonies outfit, I glanced at myself in the mirror and have never been more proud to be Canadian.
Now that it's over it felt like it went by so fast, but in the moment it felt like it would never end. We all got ushered on to these huge buses that took us to the Gymnastics facility where all the countries were filing in to the arena one by one. It was a really long, hot process, but still fun to wait with the whole team. I was so anxious for it to get started I couldn't keep still. I don't think I actually sat down to wait once. I was taking pictures and finding friends from other sports to keep me company. It was kind of cool that we were number 62 to march out this time because Canada in Mandarin characters is extremely different from alphabetical order in english. I thought that was really interesting. It definitely felt like it was hours from when we left the arena until we entered the stadium for the big show. All the countries had to walk outside towards the eggs nest and the sights and sounds coming from the stadium were out of this world. The fireworks display alone was unbelievable. Even though we didn't get to see much of what was going on inside, I wouldn't change the experience for anything. I nearly broke into tears as we were in the tunnel about two minutes away from finally breaking out on to the track and Team Canada started to sing the national anthem. I had pushed my way to the front of the line right behind our flag bearer and could see the entire team behind me singing. There really aren't enough words to describe it.
The actual walk in was unreal. The entire crowd was lit up with cameras. You could see clusters of Canadian cheering sections and our flags waving from the stands. There were just so many people everywhere you turned overjoyed in the moment. It was really beautiful. For a little while it felt like the world was finally at peace. Here we were in China during one of the most political Olympics in the history of the Games and millions of people were coming together in harmony to celebrate sport. It wasn't about medals or performance or even your own country. It was something bigger than all of that. I didn't want it to end. If it was up to me I would've circled that track forever. Once we were all ushered into the center of the stadium, all the countries were mixing together and anxiously waiting to see the Olympic Torch to be lit. That had to be my favorite moment of the night. The Games were officially beginning now. I remember standing there looking up at the flame and just thinking, here we go! It's exciting, nerve racking and surreal.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN