Nadine Plotnikoff: With Canada's Wrestling Team in Beijing
Yesterday was a day that could only come once in a lifetime. As the physiotherapist with the Canadian National Wrestling Team at the Beijing Olympics, I had the privilege of being there for yesterday's gold and bronze medal performances by our 48 and 55 kg female wrestlers, Carol Huynh and Tonya Verbeek.
For any of you who watched it on TV, you already know that the display of athleticism was masterful and I can tell you that the energy in the venue was electric. To witness my athletes and fellow staff members, who I am proud to call friends, create such personal achievement and joy was a privilege. And I understand that they lifted a country!
Our wrestling delegation, athletes and staff alike, arrived into Beijing on August 6th. The athletes spent the next 2 nights in the Olympic Village, getting outfitted and enjoying the Opening Ceremonies. Since then, we have stayed and trained in the facilities and dormitory of the Canadian International School, located about a 20 minute drive from the Olympic Village.
The CIS is a private high school with a connection to Canada's wrestling community, via one of their staff. Given that it is summer vacation, we have been able to take over several floors of the dormitory, where we each have an apartment-sized room, and have exclusive use of their brand-new gym, wrestling mat, pool and fitness area.
Our situation has allowed us to access the amenities of the Olympic Village as needed, yet remain somewhat "in a bubble" and focus on the tasks at hand. If yesterday's achievements are any indication, we are on the right track.
I am off now to the medal round for our last 2 female wrestlers. We have tomorrow off and then 3 days of competition for our mens' team follow. I look forward to contributing some good news from our team again during the Games!