First few days in London!
We only arrived in London a few days ago and it already seems like we have done so much!
When we arrived at Heathrow, we were welcomed by some of the Games volunteers that made the transition through fast and simple. Once we had our accreditation validated, it was off to the village!
The athletes village is always an amazing place. There are people from all over the world, all shapes and sizes (though the majority are much over 6 feet making me feel shorter than normal). You look out your window and see people sitting in ice baths, running, training in the fields and everyone wears their countries name. In the food tent, we play a game called “guess their sport” trying to guess what sport people play as they walk past.
Once we got settled in our room, we headed to outfitting to get our kit with our uniform. It felt like Christmas as we opened up our suitcase filled with T-shirts, sweaters, shorts and luckily a poncho for the rain. Once we got back, we got to just spend some time in the Canadian building and with our team mascot, the moose!
We had our first training in the training venue. While so much is new here, it was great to get back on the trampoline after a day off and get flipping. We also got to see and train with some of the other trampolinists for the first time since getting to the London. Training went well and the trampolines feel powerful!
After training, I had the chance to go back to the village and relax a little bit (after taking an ice bath) then we got ready for Opening. Just before we were scheduled to start marching over to the stadium, all of the Canadian athletes gathered for a pep rally led by our amazing Chef de Mission Mark Tewksberry. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, go! It is an amazing experience gathering as a team and walking to the stadium. As athletes, we actually do not get to see much of the show (though they did have a jumbo-tron close to the stadium and we could see the parachutes jumping from the helicopters) but we get a chance to meet some of the other athletes. Jason and Karen both marched in the front row and I got to march with my coach, Dave. Along the way, there were volunteers and kids lining the path screaming and cheering for all the athletes that passed- some holding Canada signs.
I remember as a kid, watching the opening ceremonies from home and wanting so badly to one day be one of the athletes marching in at the Olympics, wanting to know what it felt like. I can tell you, it is surreal. There is a moment, right before you enter the stadium where there is a ramp and you can only see a small part of the stadium itself. On this ramp, with Simon Whitfield waving the flag at the front, the entire Canadian team sang the national anthem. The entire team comes together as one, unbreakable unit as we walked through that door into the stadium and onto the track. There are no words to explain how proud I was to be among so many amazing athletes representing Canada at this year’s Olympic Games.
The other magical part of the night is when the flame enters the stadium and when the cauldron is lit- the moment when the Games begin.
Thankfully we got to sleep in today after a late night last night. We had our second training session in the training centre and it went well. I was able to do my routines and feel like I am jumping high. As per usual, after training, the three of us came back to the village and jumped in an ice bath. When Karen and I went to eat some lunch, we heard rumours that the Queen was dropping in. We decided to stick around to see if we could catch a glimpse. I am so glad we did because we managed to get a prime spot right at the entrance. When the Queen came, she was about five feet from us and waved to us!! The rest of the evening we spent recovering and are now just about to get some sleep before a double training tomorrow!
I will try and gives some updates every few days, until then.. Let’s go Canada!!