Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
My first Olympic experience that I can recall was in 1988 when the Games were held in my hometown of Calgary. I can remember being 5 years old, sitting in my kindergarten class and learning that we were going to have a chance to watch some of the speed skating training. It was a cool experience...cool as in 'awe inspiring', and cool as in 'I remember how freezing my toes were when we were watching these people with huge legs skate laps around and around the Olympic Oval'. C'mon, I was only 5 years old. Cold made me have to pee really bad! In fact, it still does....
Another memory I have of those Games was when my parents took my brother and I just outside of the city limits to a town called Airdrie to watch the Olympic Flame on it's journey into the city. I remember getting a red candle holder that symbolized the torch and I can still picture myself tromping around my parents kitchen afterwards pretending that I was an Olympic torch bearer.
Well folks; tonight, that childhood dream is coming true. I finally get my chance to carry the Olympic flame!
I have been doing a lot of thinking about why this is such a special occasion...that makes me tear up just thinking about it! What exactly does the Olympic Flame represent and why is this experience so important?
To me, the Olympic Flame represents humanity. It is a symbol of the entire world coming together in celebration of excellence. Together, we are one and we all have the potential to do extraordinary things. The Flame started in Greece many months ago and it has traveled across the world, igniting passion and togetherness in everyone that has had the chance to see it.
The Olympic flame represents dreams. There are many individuals who's dreams will be sparked or who's dreams will have a dose of fuel added to them after seeing the flame burn.
The Flame represents opportunity. Thousands of athletes around the globe have been training their lifetime for a single moment and a single chance...but we all know that, in the end, the journey is the where the BIG rewards are gained! I think the Olympic Flame is a reminder of that.
The Flame is a symbol of courage. To me, it yells, "Relentlessly pursue your dream! Never give up! Never stop believing that you can make a difference! You always have support! Be YOUR absolute best in every moment of every day"! Those are powerful messages and messages that flood through my mind when I see the flame being passed along, continually burning and always ignited.
Maybe the strongest message that I get from the Olympic Torch is the power of momentum. As the flame gets closer to Vancouver it seems as if there is more excitement and anticipation with every step. As the flame gets passed along the route, it gets one person closer to arriving in Vancouver and symbolizing the start of the Games. The countdown is on and I have faith that all of my fellow Canadian Olympians are getting into warrior mode and are ready to be at their best in less than a month!
I am beyond overwhelmed and honoured that I get a chance tonight to represent my family, my friends, my supporters, my community, my city, my province, my country and our world.
Who would have known that that little boy who dreamt of carrying the torch would go on to compete in 3 Olympic Games...and even win at one of them! I have a feeling that tonight is going to be an emotional, powerful and breath taking experience in so many ways. I have invited a ton of people to come and share in the magic of tonight. I can't wait to run, smile, dance, high five and celebrate the Olympic Spirit and Canada!
Here are the details of my run if you are able to make it:
Where: 17th Avenue SE starting at Macleod Trail and ending at Centre Street in Calgary
...or you can watch it all online at: http://www.ctvolympics.ca/torch/follow-torch/index.html
Wish me luck! Tonight's going to be AWESOME!
Go Canada Go!