After returning from Sochi on day 1, I went straight to the Olympic Park to connect with a friend and we headed straight to the Canada Olympic House for their Valentines Day open house event.
The idea behind the Canada Olympic House is that it is a sanctuary away from the media for athletes and their friends and family to connect during the Games and is not open to the general public or other Canadians. The open house event gave all Canadians the opportunity to visit the house for a few hours to mingle with the athletes and enjoy a beer from the open bar with other Canadians.
I met so many amazing people, including one lovely lady in particular who had brought me clothes and Canada gear to use until my luggage arrived! It was even appropriately wrapped in a Canada flag. I was so excited to see the Canadian Olympic Spirit shining through right from the moment I arrived. It was truly incredible! Thank you Bailey Edwards for your generosity and your awesomeness!
The highlight of the visit to Canada House though, was a surprise visit from President Putin! He had been next door at the USA House and made an unscheduled appearance at Canada House! He was given a pair of official Canada mittens and then he made a speech wishing our athletes luck. Well… most of them anyway… with the exception of our hockey team! (He laughed it off, but I don’t think he was joking… Not even a little bit.)
I stuck around Canada House as long as I could to chat with the athletes about their Olympic experience. I spoke with Gold Medalist Dara Howell (slopestyle skiing), and athletes Jenna Blasman (snowboarding) and Taylor Henrich (ski jumping). It was so inspiring to hear of their experiences and their excitement for the opportunity to compete and represent Canada at the 2014 Olympics!
So my first day was a raging success (despite the luggage issues that morning). Experiencing true Canadian Spirit inside the Canada Olympic House and being there for President Putin’s visit were an incredible way to kick off my Sochi 2014 Olympic experience. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better day if I tried!