The other day (Thursday, Sept 11) was the rowing finals. Steve in the arms only category and Caitlin and Pepito in the doubles were all happy with their performance, making improvements each day. The 4’s were racing in the A final, and finished 6th. They had a good race, but I think they just didn’t have enough gas in the tank anymore. We can say that the weather was the best yet. Bright sunshine, and great crowds.
And then there was packing; we had to deconstruct the boats and leave the rented shells. The rest of the materials were packed into the container of Olympic/Paralympic stuff to be shipped back to Canada, or boxes to go to the Village. The sun set on Shinyu (beautiful by the way) and we didn’t get back to the Village until around 10pm. Too tired to party…
The next day I felt a little out of sorts. No more rowing -now what!? Well, there is another world outside rowing and Shinyu! I did a clinic shift until noon, and then got out that afternoon to see Canada’s first game of wheelchair rugby. It was great!! They beat Japan 48-40. I was sitting in the crowd with some Canadian families. The Americans had just finished playing and a lot of their families were sitting nearby. They were cheering for Japan and jeering us!! We play them tomorrow, so that will certainly be interesting! The Americans sure have a following from Murderball (rent it if you haven’t seen it yet), and it would sure be nice to put them in their place!
Last night we were shuttled downtown to the BC Canada Pavilion. Petro Canada hosted our delegation plus family, friends and sponsors for an evening event. It was great to meet some of our athletes’ families, get out of the Village for a while, and have some wonderful Canadian food!!
Today more adventures (of course). I got to spend the day at another beautiful venue -Chingpen. This venue was used for the triathalon during the Olympics and for the Paralympics is used for the cycling road races. I saw the womens’ hand cycling race, men’s amputees and men’s cerebral palsy divisions. Fantastic! I don’t think I have ever been at a road race live and WOW do they ever move!! It was especially interesting watching people who have prosthesis or missing limbs clipped or clamped to bikes. I can hardly even balance with one hand on a bike and I saw an athlete with one arm and the opposite leg amputed at the knee!! I also got to hang out with a local celebrity -Brayden McDougall (Brayden is the one on the Petro Canada ads right now).
Speaking of celebrities; Rick Mercer arrived in the Village today. Apparently he’ll be here until Closing, so I’m sure he’ll get a lot of great footage. I’m a big fan, so I think it’s great he’s here with us. The Paralympics suffer from lack of coverage and being on Rick Mercer’s show will bring some more attention to the Paralympic athletes. Today he wheelchair raced Michelle Stillwell. That’s all I’ll say so that you will tune in for the rest!