I didn't know what to expect flying out to an Olympics as Beijing starts to fade from people's memories. I was so excited that we were hosting the Games and bringing the world to this incredible city, but had to really come to terms with the fact that I was coming as a volunteer and spectator! Definitely a weird feeling, but the second I got here it has been unbelievable. The streets are lined with people in red and white, there are so many languages being spoken around me I find myself answering people in french or spanish and the Olympic spirit has definitely arrived.
Today I sat on the bus coming into downtown for my orientation meeting at Canada Olympic House and had a little girl plop down next to me. She was hard to miss. In a bright turquoise jacket, red Canada hat and big Canada purse, she was quite a sight. What caught my eye first out of everything was the lanyard around her neck covered in pins! For those of you who don't know this, athletes trade pins at every big Games with other countries and try and collect as many as they can. It sounds kind of weird, but my pins from the Olympics will be something I cherish forever.
It made me so happy to see her with all of them that I had to ask her about them. She proudly chatted my ear off for the next 20 minutes explaining where she got each one of them and why some were her favorites. She was so excited to be at the Olympics (also a Toronto native) and thought this was the biggest adventure of her life. I will remember that forever. Come to think of it, it's one of the biggest adventures of my life. My first Olympics in my country, working for the Canadian Olympic Committee, writing for CBC and soaking in this incredible feeling. It doesn't get any better than this.