The event was the first of seven cities (I will be attending 5 events) and was held downtown Toronto at the beautiful Carlu.
Melissa and I flew out in the morning (7 am flights are a little harsh on the system) and arrived with just enough time to grab lunch and have a quick nap in prep for the festivities.
I had a great time. I saw tons of my Olympic buddies including Marnie McBean, Curt Harnett, Jenn Heil, Adam Van Koeverden, Simon Whitfield, Karen Cockburn, Alexandra Orlando, Paul Rosen, Lori-Ann Muenzer and Perdita Felicien to name a few. Everyone was in great spirits and the event raised tons of cash for the Own the Podium and Road to Excellence initiatives.
The food and wine at the event were very swanky. There was one bottle up for auction for $14,000. Seriously, who would spend 14 grand on a bottle of wine. That would be almost $500 a sip...are you kidding me. I like wine, but I don't think I could ever appreciate it that much. I would be thinking about the new car I could buy with that money! The food was interesting as well. There was one dish that was some sort of brain, another that was various parts of a caribou...no spring rolls and cheese balls here. It was very high class.
Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo and Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies were in attendance and they did an off the cuff duet to Blue Rodeo's song "Try".(this is Blue Rodeos Video)
This is one of my all time favourites! Actually, Blue Rodeo played a concert at the 2000 Olympics for all of the Canadian delegation and it was awesome. I think I drank a little bit too much beer (they had Coors Light and Molson Canadian brought in especially for the event...how could I resist!) to completely appreciate the moment, but from what I remember a good time was had by all!
For me, Steven and Jim's performance was definitely a highlight of the Toronto GMP event.
Of course, many of the conversations I had were about my injury and how everything was progressing. I must admit that having crutches and a brace is a great conversation starter. I told people that things were coming along slowly, but progress was being made. It's kind of funny how you try to assure everyone, and maybe yourself, that things are OK. Why is this? I should have told them that it was pissin' me off and I was ready to kill someone yesterday!
When I saw Marnie she came up to me and asked, "How's your f*$%ing knees?"
Haha! This is exactly what I needed. Honesty and humor. I loved it!
After the awesome time I had last night, my f*#$ing knees (and overall moral) are feeling much better!