Well tonight was the official welcome ceremony for Canada here in the Paralympic Village. Until now we’ve been so busy with training and practices for our separate sports and sometimes it’s easy to forget where we are. Athletes are so focused on what they need to do, and we’ve all been going our separate ways to do just that. But this evening as the Canadians came together you could feel the excitement of an international event build. CBC and other media were involved as well (hope you caught/will catch the coverage!). All of a sudden we were reminded where we are and why we’re here!
We assembled in the National Paralympic Service Center for a pep rally. There were some entertainers and speeches and the candidates for flag bearer were announced. To conclude the rally, the flag bearer, Donovan Tildesley, was announced. I happened to be sitting quite near Donovan and got to witness the look on his face when this was unveiled. It was certainly one of those moments that those of us around sport work for!
Next we went to the International Zone of the Village and into the stadium for the raising of the Canadian flag. This was a ceremony where Canadians were welcomed to the Village by the mayor (of the Village) and gifts were exchanged with our Chef de Mission. The raising of our flag pronounces that we are here! And here to win!!