Friday, August 8, 2008


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. 



I am finally here!!!! After all the years of working and waiting for this moment, it's actually happening. It is the craziest thing. I feel like I'm living in a dream right now. Every morning when I look out my 7th floor window over looking the heart of the Olympic Village, I want to pinch myself to make sure I'm actually awake. Am I really here?! I'll be walking to get breakfast or hanging out in the athletes lounge and I'll just have a moment where I realize all over again that I am at the Olympics! It is definitely not a dream. 

When we arrived in Beijing and walked out of the airport we were hit hard with the hot, humid air. The smog wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I was more surprised with the temperature. It was boiling! I don't think I will ever complain about the air conditioning being too high in my house ever again. I seriously have a new found appreciation for it. Before we became too uncomfortable in the humidity we were whisked away in a private car to the Olympic Village, where from there the heat was a distant memory. It was the most surreal feeling driving in the Olympic lane through Beijing passing all the new facilities, the stadium and Olympic flags everywhere. When we pulled up to the Village, the COC mission staff were there to get us to our rooms as easily and quickly as possible. I recognize so many of them from the Pan American and Commonwealth Games. It's so great to see familiar faces and share this excitement with so many amazing people. It really is something special. 

I could go on and on and on about the Olympic Village and it still wouldn't do it justice. I can hardly find words to explain it. It's basically a mini city in the heart of Beijing. We all live in condo's that have gardens, parks and ponds separating them. There is never nothing to do. The athletes lounge is the most relaxing place in the Canadian section where we can all just go and chill. You meet new people every day and everyone is so friendly. I already signed up for tickets to go watch water polo, swimming and gymnastics. I'm trying to do as much as I can to soak up this amazing experience. It's hard for me to sometimes just go back and sit in my room because I want to be doing something every minute of every day! I don't want to waste any time here, this is what I've been waiting for my whole life. Tomorrow I think some of us are going to have a little Dance Dance Revolution competition in the international athletes building. It's a great way to just unwind and relax after a long day of training or a stressful competition day. So far the village has more than lived up to my expectations. I'm sorry I can't explain it better. When I upload my pictures I will definitely be posting them for all of you to see first hand. Come to think about it I'm going to go and explore a little bit. The village is so huge I have hardly seen half of it! Bye for now :)

4 Bronze now BEIJING...

The competition in Bulgaria couldn't have been a better preparation for me. Not only did I end up walking away with four bronze medals, but also with stronger confidence in myself and what I was capable of. I was a little hesitant competing on my ankle that has been injured since April, but once I walked off my first routine I knew there was nothing to worry about. My adrenaline, focus and determination washed away the pain those few days and I felt better out on the carpet than I had in a long time. I didn't think twice about the injury and was able to give it my all, not holding anything back. It was the perfect experience to have before heading to the Olympics. I feel so ready to go, which is not always the case before a competition. Every athlete knows when they're not in the best possible shape or didn't have the preparation they needed to have the competition of a lifetime. Throughout my whole career in this sport I have always known myself and how to read what my body was telling me. I definitely know that when I'm not 150% confident I can't perform to the best of my abilities. With confidence comes everything else. I'm sharper, more expressive and powerful. It is a huge difference when I let my nerves get to me. My main goal for the Olympics is to go out there, give it my all and just have fun doing what I love. I don't want to be nervous or hold back anything. This is my moment and I'm going to do everything I can to make it unforgettable.