Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome to the Paralympic Village!

Okay, I have posted for a few days, but I have a good excuse - I've been a little bit busy getting settled here in the Paralympic, I can't believe I just said that! I think Andrea said it perfectly when she said it's like we are living in an alternative universe! We seem to easily lose track of what day it is and there is so much to see and do....

Take today for example: I woke up at 7:15am only to have doping control knock on my door at 7:30am. Oops, sorry guys, you were about five minutes too late! So I had a chaperone hanging out with me while I got organized for the day and at breakfast, including two bottles of water and a cup of tea, then back to my room to get all my gear. Then I went to doping control and was hoping things would go quickly because Andrea had an interview with CBC en fran├žais, but they wanted video of us skiing together so I had to get up to Callaghan before 9:30am. Things went well in that they went fast, but not so well in that my sample was too dilute. In that case, doping control gets to continue be my shadow so off we went up to Callaghan to meet up with Andrea. I immediately when to doping control for a second time, only to have that sample also too dilute. The good thing about that is that they can only ask for two samples, but the bad news is that they might come looking for me again in the next few days. I offered to have the chaperone follow me around, hoping that maybe third time lucky, but they said that I'm not under suspicion so the likelihood they'd come for me again was slim. As long as they don't come on one of the mornings I race, I'm okay with that.

Anyway, after I finished all of that, it was about 10:30am so I went and found Andrea, only to find out that the CBC guy had gone to the alpine area instead of Callaghan. So Andrea directed him to Callaghan and asked if he had accreditation to get past security, which he indicated he did. The next phone call Andrea got from him was that he couldn't make it up because he didn't have the right media pass. Oops!

Andrea and I finally got our ski in, which went well, then we raced back to the lodge to shower before jumping on a bus to head back to the Village. We went straight to lunch, then straight to the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) team office for another interview, this time with CBC Vancouver.

Once that was out of the way, I headed back to my room hoping to have a nap. Wishful thinking! I unpacked all my wet gear from this morning, then I went to track down the team doctor to get a referral so I could go for massage at the polyclinic (only the senior team athletes have access to our CCC team medical staff), then I had to walk over to the clinic to book an appointment. After that, I went back up to the athlete lounge to email the Madshus rep Reece to see if our new poles are going to make it out before our first race. Then I made a quick phone call to check on the status of everyone staying there before I headed back to my room for a nap, only to find out we had a team meeting at 4:30pm. So I laid down for 15 minutes before heading out to meeting, which finished at 4:30pm so I went back to lay down for another 15 minutes before we headed out for the Team Canada pep rally. I was really tired by this point and contemplated not going, but really, at the only Paralympic Games ever I will be at on Canadian soil? Not a chance! So I ran over to the cafeteria and got a coffee to wake me up.

Then it was off to the pep rally which lasted about an hour, but was really awesome! It is fantastic to have the home crowd advantage! Lots of cheering and crazy dancing by athletes, volunteers and spectators alike!

After the pep rally, Andrea and I headed out for dinner at the cafeteria, but I had to rush through in order to make my 7:30pm massage appointment. Got home from that at 8:15pm and then had a quick look at email and now am posting to my blog. As soon as this is done, I'm going to bed! Phew, what a day! Tomorrow I am hoping to have a quiet afternoon - that is, right after we get in our ski and the interview for French CBC! So much to do and so little time! That is the danger of being in the Village because it is very easy to get pulled into all the excitement and lose focus on the goal of being here, which of course is competing to the best of our ability.

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