Monday, February 15, 2010

Greetings from Vancouver

I have had the great pleasure of spending a few days in Vancouver watching the Olympic Games. Being freestyle fans, my family and I spent the last two days watching the Men's and Women's Mogul Events. They were incredible. Many of the athletes might have looked familiar. Led by their coach Scott Rawles, the freestyle team has often had their spring and fall mogul camps at The Basin. The team's performance was extraordinary with all eight athletes qualifying for the finals.

We started Saturday with a very wet, cold and windy day at Cypress Mountain. The women's skiing was simply beautiful. It was incredible to see Team Summit alumni Heather McPhie qualify in third place. Hannah Kearney's gold and Shannon Bahrke's bronze medals were truly inspiring.

While the women's performance was typified by grace and power, the men's competition was dominated by speed and awe. American Bryon Wilson electrified the crowd with a double full on the top air and won a bronze medal.

For me the games and the beauty of Canada were made clear during yesterday's event. During the men's event we sat behind four Canadian men. As they sipped Molsons (without gloves and wearing jeans) we laughed, talked freestyle, and rapidly became best friends. As Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada's first gold medal on native soil, they celebrated and cheered. Before I knew it, these big tough guys were literally crying with joy and pride. It was cool.

The Canadians are putting on a great show. As there jingle goes, "They were made for this."

It seems like whenever I leave town, it starts snowing. I hear a nice storm has just blown through and the skiing is great. I am flying back tonight and can't wait to make a few turns tomorrow.