Friday, March 12, 2010

Just another day In the Athletes' Village...

Today has been a good day characterized by intense pin trading and the realization that WE are very special around here. This experience is going to spoil everyday life forever! How will we ever recover?!

We started the day off with some skiing. It was snowing really hard out there, but the snow was more soft and fluffy than yesterday, so the turns were really easy to do today. Tom Siletta, the coach designated to the development group, was helping Andrea, Courtney, Robert and me with step-turns. By the end of it all, I was able to do two perfect step-turns around that difficult right-hand corner into the stadium. That was an amazing feeling. Now I just have to remember that moment when I race. We had some trouble with the classic skiing though. My zero skis (skis with chemical bases used for days like today) were really catching the snow on the downhills and making them difficult to negociate. We will have to figure something else out if the classic race conditions are like today's.

After the ski, I went for a massage at the polyclinic. I got an ART provider and my back now feels so much better! Then I had some volunteers do my laundry for me. I met a Japanese coach who spoke very little English in the laundry trailer. He managed to intimate that he wanted to trade pins. So I showed him that I would be back in five mintues and brought down some Canada pins and tatoos. He gave me a Japan pin, and I went for my massage. When I came back to pick up the laundry, the volunteers told me that the Japanese man was looking for me because he wanted to give me a present and take a picture. And just on cue, he shows up with a "Hello Kitty" toy and his camera. We took a picture with each other's hats on and said "see you at the Opening Ceremonies." And that's how I made a Japanese friend!

The pin trading continued at supper, where my guide, Robert, got all excited and ran around the dining hall trading with everyone in sight! It was intense and pretty hilarious. Then, we met my old Russian friends that go way back with my parents and traded some more pins. Canada pins are a hot commodity around here!
I've still got a lot of pins left to trade, and I hear Kathleen is bringing me some City of Ottawa ones. That'll be exciting. If only all the other countries' pins were as nice as ours!

So tomorrow's the Opening Ceremonies, and most of us are going. It'll be a long afternoon. We're leaving at 2:30, the Ceremonies start at 6, and then we have the option of leaving right after we march in or staying untill the end. If we stay till the end, we won't get back until midnight. It's a pretty tough call considering most of us race first thing Saturday morning, but it would be so cool to be part of the excitement at BC Place! If you're interested in watching live, go to Otherwise, CTV will air something or other that they taped at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Well, it's a big day tomorrow. Good night!

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