Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Opening Ceremony

So, I’m currently in Singapore at a training camp. Yes, I know the Olympic Games have begun, but unlike many other athletes I do not compete till the end of the Olympic Games, beginning August 21st (which would explain my current location).

However, before arriving in Singapore we had a staging in Beijing. The staging involved receiving our Canada gear, getting acquainted with the village, training venue and a chance to walk at the Opening Ceremony if we chose to do so. Being that I don’t compete until the end and this is my first Olympic Games, I made the obvious choice to walk.

The process was quite long. We left the village after 6pm and did not return until 12:30pm. However, it was well worth it!!! For the most part of the evening we (Team CANADA) were congregated together. So during this time we’re getting acquainted with each other from various sports -- learning about each others qualification procedure, general season and long term aspirations. And in this time we are unknowingly creating a greater bond with each other. It seems so fitting (now as I reflect) that as we walked into the tunnel, just a few steps from entering the stadium someone began belting out “Oh, Canada” and we all chimed in unison. Oh, Canada indeed!

Walking in the stadium (the very same stadium I will be competing in) was a proud moment. I waved my Canada thunder sticks with enthusiasm and Canadian Pride – ironically landing me a spot on television. We then walked into the centre of the stadium and cheered on the other countries as they entered. My teammate Scott Russell pointed out the Olympic Torch and we wondered how they would have it lit. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined it to be lit in the manor it was. And as I stood shoulder to shoulder with athletes spanning the globe the emotion I felt as I saw the torch lit, I cannot find words to explain. Certainly, a unique and special experience – feelings that were expressed in the tears that surprisingly streamed my faced. Yes, Beijing I have arrived! And I am ready!

Jumping High,


Hilary said...

How incredible Nicole!
I am so happy this is where all your hard work and dedication has brought you.
Can't wait to see you compete in the Games!
Go kick some butt!

Christopher said...


Thanks for sharing your experience. The experience of watching the cauldron get lit was incredible. I can only imagine what it was like in person, knowing you're about to embark on the competition of a lifetime.

Good luck! We'll be cheering.