Liz and Kim coming to you from the Olympic Excellence series in Mississauga, ON. What an amazing experience; words really can't describe but we will do our best! The Olympic Excellence series is held once a year leading up to the Olympics and it features athletes from all different sports, the health sciences team (nutritionists, doctors, physios etc) coaches and all the people who work hard for us at the Canadian Olympic Committee. Including our chef de mission Mark Tewksbury (you may remember him from his gold medal swim in Barcelona). His passion was contagious, every time he talked you wanted to head straight to the gym and start training again. So inspired that despite the 1am bed times Liz and I woke up at 6:15 to take advantage of the yoga classes and went back later in the day to get some cardio and lifting in.
It was inspiring and fascinating chatting with other athletes learning about their training routines, training environments and past experiences at the Olympics. We had a chance to hear from Jon Montgomery, Kristina, Groves, Melissa Hollingsworth, Alex Bilodeau- all successful Vancouver 2010 olympians. They chatted about the disappointments and trials they faced leading up to the games and either the heart break of losing or the euphoria of winning a medal on home soil. We also had a chance to hear from some summer Olympians who spoke of the grandeur of the summer games.
All of the Olympians who spoke touched on different ways the Olympics and competing were a part of their everyday lives. Jon Montgomery (the guy famous for drinking his beer on tv while walking through the streets of Vancouver) said “Gold medal finishes are a part of everything I do, when I go to the bathroom, hey, I am going right for the middle urinal… top of the podium baby!”
One of the most inspirational series was Ernie McCullough a 1948 Olympian who spoke of the games many years ago in London. He is 86 years young and still spoke with so much passion when reminiscing about his Olympic days. Can you believe all the Canadian athletes were crammed on a boat for 7 days and then just jumped right into Olympic competitions! We complain about 12 hour plane rides.
One of the sessions was on the layout of the Olympic village; you want to talk about motivation. We both got goose bumps when they pointed out where the basketball venue is… Right across the street from the Olympic village! We saw pictures of the rooms and exactly where the Canadian house will be.
Mark Tewksbury told us his amazing story and how he was able to get to the podium because one day he thought “Why not me? I have put in the work, why can’t I be the best?”
One of our favorite quotes from the weekend came Adam van Koeverden (the kayaker), he said “You have to act like a kid while you dream-with no limits and fear, but then bring the wisdom of an adult in how you compete-with composure and dedication”.
The last two days were spent working with the media, doing interviews, radio spots and photo shoots. We got our hair and make up done; how great would it be if you had someone to do your hair and make up every day. Not only do you look great but you are ready in about half the time.
We have to give a huge thank you to the Canadian Olympic Committee for putting on this series. There was so many people who worked hard to help get us motivated and give us a little advantage and we appreciate it.
Be sure to check back in regularly as each player will start updating once a month. Giving you all a look into their training and life as we gear up for June 25th!!
As of today, there are 238 days until the Games begin, and 215 days until our qualifier!