It feels like ages since I last wrote. The morning after the Opening Ceremonies (Sept 7) you could already feel the energy pick up around here. The Village is abuzz with activity… We’re finally competing, and Canada is winning medals!
We learned who can sleep through everything and who cannot the night of Sept 6. There was a huge thunderstorm during the night. But it was relatively clear in the am and by afternoon the sun was coming through once again. A Canadian table was reserved at the dining hall for lunch and we were joined by special guests; the Leuitenant Governor of Ontario and her delegation with CBC. And it was back to Shinyu after a day and a half off.
Yesterday (Sept 7) was quite the day at Shinyu. Boat stickers placed, heat draws, start practices, boat naming ceremonies, media… Everyone in the sport is so excited to see it finally in the Paralympics. From the ‘old’ veterans to the rookies there is a common understanding that this event will be special. And it looks like there will be a lot of close races too.
My Mandarin continues to improve. The first time I tried to ask for ice in Chinese I caused a room of 15 or so volunteers to burst into simultaneous laughter (probably said something dirty). So that night I mastered a whole phrase; ‘Do you have any ice available?’ (not even a titter out of them the next day!) Now I help myself to ‘bing quoi’ while the volunteers take pictures and ask for pins (the other Olympic event is pin collecting…). The other day I was greeted in the International Zone by an Asian man who said ‘howdy!’ in a very thick accent. I think some Calgarians might be having some fun with the locals! I am also revisiting my Deutsche with Markus and Hans-Jurgen, learning a bit of Espaniola thanks to Papito and of course working diligently on my francias…
Today feels a bit like Christmas Eve. After so much waiting the rowing competition is here! Today is the first round, tomorrow is repechauge and Thursday is the finals. Remember to tune in to catch the action. Oh… almost forgot to mention; Scott Russell and the CBC crew were at Shinyu the whole afternoon yesterday. They should have some great footage!