Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tonight's gonna be a good night!

This post was written yesterday during my travels...

So it’s all over and now I’m sitting in my room waiting for the 11:30 bus to YVR (Vancouver Airport). The last few days have been even busier than before if that’s possible. We have had a lot of fun here in Whistler and it’s really sad to say goodbye and go back to reality. Reality is kind of a scary concept right at the moment. I have to go back to work the day after tomorrow!

Last night was unbelievable! First we watched the Closing Ceremonies at the Whistler Medals Plaza. It rained on us a bit while we were waiting to march in, but stayed dry for the show. We marched into the plaza through the streets of Whistler to lots of cheering and applause. It was awesome to see all the people come out. The show itself was great too. Chantal Creviazuk sang to us and there were some wheelchair dancers, a champion hoop dancer, figure skaters from Russia, as well as the usual ceremonial parts. The show culminated with an impressive fireworks display. Best of all, I could see some of it on one of the giant screens they have set up in the plaza. And it was broadcast live everywhere this time!

I’m now continuing my blog post at the Maple Leaf Lounge in YVR. The Internet doesn’t really seem to be working though, so I will have to post this when I get home.

So continuing on. Apparently, Canada has a tradition of throwing a huge party after Closing Ceremonies at Paralympic Games. But we also had to pack up all of our stuff and check our bags in to Air Canada before midnight. I got stuck in Whistler Village for a while after the ceremonies, even though I kind of wanted to go back, pack up and party. First, our development group went over to the Delta Hotel to present Jeff Whiting with a print we all pitched in for in recognition of all he’s done for us. He’s retiring after these Games. Of course, I wanted to do that before going back to the Village - Jeff has been an awesome force in the development of Para-Nordic skiing in Canada. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication over all of these years!

Then we ended up going over to Canada House where they had some speeches and general boring stuff. But people wanted a chance to hang out with their family and friends who weren’t allowed in the Athletes’ Village. So we ended up getting back to the village only around 11:30. I scrambled to get everything packed and checked in. My bags were stuffed almost to bursting! Then I ran over to the Vitamin Water Lounge. The party was definitely in full swing there. I looked for people I might know, but it was really dark and crazy in there, so I went outside to figure out what to do next. I met a Belorussian guy outside and hung out with him. He got me beer, so that was a good start. Then Jay and Stu showed up and saved me from an increasingly awkward conversation. Apparently, those two had been busting moves on the dance floor this whole time. So I went in with them and we danced, drank and partied until the party was over around 4 a.m. The place went bonkers when "I Got a Feeling" came on, and with good reason, it was most definitely "a good night!" Every once in a while I went over to the video game part of the lounge where the less-party-oriented part of our team was hanging out. I also managed to trade some team Canada stuff for Slovakia and Switzerland hats and to dance with a few random strangers. I went to bed for a three-hour nap at around 4:30 and got up at 7:30 only to find out that we were taking the 11:30 and not the 9 o’clock bus to Vancouver! I don’t feel all that bad though, I’m still pretty lively and it looks like I can spell so we’re doing good!
 Andrea and I sporting our newly traded Slovakia gear

Jordan from CPC, Jason and me wearing my new Swiss hat!

Oh and as for my race yesterday, it was pretty nearly perfect. It went about as well as it could have gone. It was 1,200 metre classic sprint, and I had awesome grip and good glide. The snow had softened up quite a bit because it was raining. As a result, the crazy 180-degree top corner was a lot better than it had been the day before. Robert and I were able to do a quick snowplow around it. And the so-called “Canada Corner” into the stadium was just fine as well. Courtney still beat me by one place, but she’s a great double-poler, and my double-pole could definitely use some more work. I ended up 9th after somebody ahead of me got DQ’ed. My goal was top 10 for that race and I definitely achieved it! What a great way to end these awesome Paralympic Games! And what an amazing experience! All my hard work had definitely paid off and was absolutely worth it.

Now I can take a little rest before planning my next big adventure. It's not quitting time yet though. The best is yet to come, I just need some time to rest and think now. Good afternoon from Ottawa.

P.S. The Vancouver Sun article that Robert and I were interviewed for came out a couple of days ago. So take a look if you like. It's got a few inaccuracies, but that's ok. :)

1 comment:

  1. Well done Margarita. I agree, it was great to watch the closing ceremonies live on TV.