As I prepare to leave for London and realize we are only one week out from the start of the XXX Olympiad, I am experiencing all sorts of emotions. As a mum, I am sad to leave my kids and anxious about not being able to monitor where and what they are doing. As a broadcaster, I am nervous but also excited about the new role ahead of me. I have never been at the desk and having an 8 hour live show every day is intimidating, but I am excited to bring the stories of the athletes home to Canadians. As an Olympian, I am so excited and proud of what lies ahead!
The Olympic Games are the only event that can bring over 200 nations of the world together in peace. All of those nations – many of whom are in war with each other, can enter into a stadium together, marching in with pride representing their country, and be celebrated, in one place. And for the first time, each one of those nations will be sending both men and women to London.
Of course, we will hear about the long line ups, the problems with traffic, and the issue with tickets. This won’t be a problem of just the London Olympic Games – it is a problem (or we seem to make an issue of it), at every Olympic Games, winter and summer. These Games will see heartbreak, disappointment, and surprises. But they will also see victory, joy, and inspiration.
Regardless of results and medal counts, the Games have power. That power lies in our ability to be inspired. I have been inspired by the four Olympic Winter Games I competed in, and by the four Olympic Games I have been a part of as a broadcaster. I know London will be equally inspiring.
As I head to the airport, I think of Perdita Felicien’s words in her recent blog, “Gold Mettle”. “I won’t ever be an Olympic Champion and that sucks……” “I’ve dreamed the biggest dream imaginable for myself………..Yes it’s broken my heart into a million pieces, but funny it has also been the glue that could put it back together again.”
As I read her words, I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I am sad for Perdita because she is disappointed she didn’t make the Olympic team for 2012, but she realizes that races don’t define her. I am inspired as she reminds me that an Olympic medal doesn’t make us a champion, it is our attitude that makes a champion. Sport gives us all the ability to dream, and regardless of the result, sport has the ability to inspire ourselves and others around us.
The Olympics have brought us together as a nation. Now in just one week, the Olympics will bring us together as a world, in peace. For those 17 days we celebrate the Olympic ideals. Perhaps the power of the Games will continue to live on within us for more than 17 days……