5 Reasons to Love the Games

The Olympics has changed, well at least for me it has. Now that I am an Olympian I must admitthat I see the Games in a different light. I can relate closer, am included more and I am generally more interested. It shouldn’t have taken becoming an Olympian to really see all the amazing aspects of the Olympics, so I am going to break it down on why YOU should love this precious time too.

The Discovery Of Sports – Coming from a country known for mostly winter it’s hard to be familiar with all the summer sports involved with the Olympics. For example, I know almost nothing about all the track and field events. What exactly are the events in a heptathlon? I still don’t know that answer, but I am keen to discover more about it. The Olympics is great exposure to other sports and how they are played. Another example of this is how one of my besties is using the Olympics to gauge her four year old’s interest in sport. She keeps showing him different sports and asks if it interests him… he keeps saying that farming looks more fun…kids are funny.

The Commercials are the Best – I am the first to say that I don’t watch TV especially commercials, and really I should avoid watching them now too. This is because whenever I catch them I always get a little choked up. The P&G one when the diver is on the phone saying he can’t do it and his Mom very calmly says that he can, gosh I am getting teared up now! Companies really capture the emotions that athletes and parents go through; it’s astounding how well they do it.

The Campaigns are Engaging - It’s great how the campaigns connect the athletes to the audience, be it athletes at the Game or ones on homeland. Be it the Sport Check “Train like an Olympian” or what I am a part of, Canadian Tire’s #StepUpStandTall, my first digital campaign to participate in, they all engage you to care about the Games. I love being a part of the conversation and seeing all the moments that come up over the day. People have an opportunity to discover and connect with me. It’s a chance to donate for free to the Olympic Foundation and to JumpStart Charities just be retweeting and sharing the moments. I am not being paid to participate, it’s just a cause I believe in and the other people involved care about the Games and the stories. Check out all the moments Here

Canada’s Athletes Are There – Whether you love the Olympics or not, when you see that maple leaf on the score board you’re interested. Yesterday I was at a restaurant, baseball was on. I had to ask to change the channel to women’s soccer and I could tell the manager wasn’t very happy about it, stating quietly that not everyone loved the Olympics. About ten minutes later all the tables were turned to the TV and closely watching Canada verses France, cheering with the ebbs and flows of the game. Even the manager was into it and smiling when we had won. Canadian’s do love our athletes.

There Are No Boarders At The Games – Probably the biggest reason to love the Olympics is the comradery found between the countries no matter where you are from. This is best expressed in the picture below with the North and South Korean gymnasts taking a selfie together. This is the only time when we all get together to compete on the same and even playing field. The Games bring over two hundred countries together to celebrate sport, acceptance and a union. It just may be the closest thing to world peace.

I am not saying the IOC is perfect, or the aftermath isn’t going to be a nightmare. What I am saying is that the Olympics are awesome. The sports are eye opening, the commercials make us appreciative, the campaigns engage us, the national pride interests us, and there is nothing like an Olympic Games to unify the world. Why wouldn’t you love the Olympics?? Just one more thing GO CANADA GO!! 

For the Love of Sport

I really do love sport and I loved watching the Olympics.  So much that I neglected to do other work, like writing blogs, to take in all the inspiring athletes pursuing perfection in front of judges or being the fastest in their craft.  I don’t feel too guilty because it was a bit like homework for me. 

Rosie MacLennan has to be the first to mention.  I feel amazed that I chose her to follow, and she ended up Canada’s only gold medal.  In times of high pressure and somewhat being under the shadow of Karen Cockburn, she performed fantastic and kept Canadaat the top of trampoline.  Canadian’s are so proud of what she accomplished. 

This is not to say that I have forgotten about JessicaZelinka, who may have been a bit behind in the heptathlon but she still killed it in the hurdles, just missing the podium.  Her story alone is so interesting, being a mom and an athlete, two full on major jobs; I can only imagine what that must be like.  

Of course, last but not least Phylicia George, from my home city of Toronto, and even closer to my home town, Markham.  A still blooming athlete with more Olympics to come I am sure. 

The work all these athletes put into their sport is incomprehensible to people who do not pursue a sport and just watch them perform.  It is easy to say how “disappointing” it is for someone to miss a mark but hard to truly empathize with those feelings.  I suspect a small business owner may understand, but then their window of opportunity is a little winder when compared to an athlete.

I get it.  My life for over ten years has been snowboarding, and I love it.  Still it never has been easy.  Lack of guidance at the start and middle was a struggle.  The stigma snowboarding has had in the past never helped me in any way.  

 The looks my parents got when they told people their daughter was a snowboarder are memorable, I am thankful they are so awesome.  They gave me a chance to prove snowboarding is a real sport, like diving or gymnastics, just like them I do this though hours of hard work.

I am excited to have a chance to change what it means to be a snowboarder in Canada.  This movement is happening all over, especially with riders like Kelly Clark, Gretchen Bleiler, and Hannah Teter, who I see on snow and in the gym on a regular basis. 

We are the ones who are diligent and committed to our profession in every way, and are willing to try new ideas.  We will be inspiring for other females of all ages all around the world and we deserve to be called Olympic calibre athletes.              

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Olympic Fever

I really love the Olympics.  This is a most exciting time.  I love waking up and checking what I missed, being glued to my CTV Olympic app, and checking in on all the action, sometimes even drama.  Although I do feel as though I am missing out on most of the Canadian coverage of the Games, since I am in Oregon for some on snow training, the Americans do a great job of showcasing their athlete's talent.  All the way from NBC national broadcasting to the local stations, they are supporting their athletes.

I almost expect the USA to be at the top of the score board with an astounding 539 athletes at the Games. China has a close second in medals with only 384 athletes, still much lower considering the population of both counties.

Then there is Canada with our 281 athletes, and a fraction of the population compared to the powerhouses of USA and China.  Still we're holding our own and currently in 11th place; great for a small country that is 35th on the list of world populations, much lower than any of the countries who are the top of the score board.  This just shows that Canadians love sport!

Jessica Zelinka
Rosie Maclennan
This is a time, just like the Winter Games, where I thrive off seeing these athletes perform no matter what sport they are doing.  Seeing the 'eye of the tiger' in their look is inspiring and something I can easily relate to.  I am so pumped to have relations to athletes like Jessica Zelinka, heptathlon athlete, who I share a mental trainer with, Bob Palmer.  Also  Rosie Maclennan, trampoline athlete, with whom we have the same Pilates instructor, two time Olympian and bronze medalist Fanny Latourneau- Roussel.  Lastly with Phylicia George, running, we share a best friend, Tenika Davis.  Makes me feel that I am on the right track.
Phylicia George

Jessica is scheduled to start her seven event competition tomorrow and I am excited for her to start as she is the first to begin of the three I am following closely.

Regardless, I have been anxiously following all my Canadian athletes through the press and twitter feeds. I love seeing the medal count grow every day as our dedicated, diligent, and brave athletes achieve their dreams though following their passions.  No matter what their finish is I am proud to have them representing my country.  To even make it to the Olympics is a feat and a journey, I should know, I am on the path myself right now!

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