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Vancouver 2010 and the Birth of My Olympic Passion

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the beginning of my Olympic passion. Thanks to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I have now attended three Olympic Games (Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and Sochi 2014), have met some incredible international friends, and have captured some of the most inspiring moments of my photographic career.

Sending out a huge than you to everyone who made Vancouver 2010 and beyond such an incredible experience for me. Four years ago this week marks the one-year anniversary of Sochi 2014 and the birth of Olympics Spirit Project. I’m still so very grateful to all my Kickstarter project backers, friends and family who made that adventure possible.

Check out the complete Vancouver 2010 opening ceremony. What memories does it bring back for you? Share in the comments below.

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza will be relit today (February 12, 2015) for four hours from 8:50am to 12:50pm. Will you be there? What memories does Vancouver 2010 bring back for you?

What’s In My Olympics Memory Box?

I opened my Olympics memory box this week and am now even more excited and inspired for the Olympic Spirit Project at the Sochi 2014 Olymipc Winter Games!

Here are a few of the item that I found:

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The 2010 Olympics section from the Vancouver Sun from March 2, 2010.

My 2014 Olympics uniform for Sochi 2014 in Russia.
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My BCMC media accreditation badge, official IPC (International Paralympic Committee) media accreditation badge, and my IPC photographer sleeve from Vancouver 2010.

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Sochi 2014 media badge from Sochi House at Vancouver 2010, My True North Media House badge, House of Switzerland media badge, Holland House Press card, and Samsung media badge. All from Vancouver 2010.

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Vancouver 2010 Ice Hockey and Speed Skating tickets, and London 2012 Athletics ticket.

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My pin and memorabilia collection from Vancouver 2010, and a single pin from London 2012.

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My Canada t-shirt that I wore at London 2012, and an awesome “eh!” t-shirt given to me to wear at Sochi 2014.

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A mix of Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 clothing to wear as my Sochi 2014 fan uniform.

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The Vancouver 2010 mascots! Quatchi, Miga, Mukmuk, and Sumi.

 

A Side Trip to London and the 2012 Olympics

Earlier this summer I took a last minute, unexpected trip to the Netherlands for family reasons. It just so happened that it was timed perfectly with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. So I thought to myself, “should I go to London?” The answer, of course, was, “hells yes, you should go to London!!” I was already most of the way there, and all that stood between me and experiencing that amazing Olympic energy again was a small puddle jump across the English Channel! I know I would have regretted it, had I not gone.

So upon a trusted recommendation, I navigated to the EasyJet website, one of Europe’s low cost airlines, and for about $200 CAD I booked my return ticket from Amsterdam to London Gatwick. From there I needed a train ticket to get into London proper. After a quick Google search I came upon the Gatwick Express site, and booked a ticket for about $45 CAD return, which went right to London’s Victoria station. Easy!

Finally, accommodations… I was very fortunate and thankful to the generosity of friends who were in London for the Games, and I was able to stay with them in the flat they had rented in Kensington. Awesome! I was set! On to London!!

As it was my first time in London, I spent a day exploring some of the well known landmarks and historical areas. I started in Hyde Park at Kensington Palace and slowly made my way, mostly on foot, to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The best part though (and thanks to James and Greg for giving me the ticket!), was the athletics event at the Olympic stadium! This was my first summer Olympics, so I was very excited about attending an official Olympic event! It was truly amazing to watch the athletic ability of the competitors! Their speed and talent was incredible to watch! I’m so grateful for having these two amazing friends who helped make it all happen for me!

I’d also like to send out a HUGE thank you to the Olympic Party Boys, James Mazur and Greg Mazur, for their generosity and hospitality that made my London adventure such an unforgettable experience! You guys are incredible and I’m so very grateful for your friendship and epic awesomeness! Big love to you both! 

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For more travel images, please visit my Flickr page.

 

Canadian Olympic Committee Receives Funding of $5M Annually for 5 Years!

Canadian Paralympic Committee Receives New Funding
(image source: Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Ottawa, ON (October 22, 2010) – Today, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and several decorated Paralympians gratefully accepted the financial contribution of $5M annually over the next five years from the Minister of State for Sport, the Honourable Gary Lunn. The funding was announced during the 2010 Canadian Paralympic Congress in Ottawa, attended by leaders in sport and disability organizations from across the country. This announcement follows the financial commitment announced by Minister Flaherty in the Federal Budget on March 4th.

This new funding has triggered the most ambitious plan in the history of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

“Our vision is to be the world-leading Paralympic Nation. This means more than gold medals. It means having success on the world stage, as well as having a sustainable Paralympic sport system that encourages participation; provides access to the best equipment, coaches and leadership; and, celebrates the accomplishment of our nations’ Paralympians,” said Carla Qualtrough, President for the Canadian Paralympic Committee . “This is a significant day as it marks the beginning of a very bright future for us. It will empower us to enhance the podium performance of the Canadian Paralympic Team as well as to work closely with our partners to raise the awareness of the opportunities available in sport for Canadians with a disability.”

“Our Government is proud to support our Canadian Paralympic athletes. We have all been inspired by their recent successes, notably at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi. This additional investment will ensure that the CPC has the tools that it needs to continue to build on these triumphs, and to encourage more persons with disabilities to actively participate in sport.”

This funding represents a new era for the Canadian Paralympic Committee and leads the organization to a new and brighter future. With significant, stable funding, more children with disabilities will have the opportunity to participate in sport and pursue dreams of representing their country in international high performance competition. The result will be a positive impact on the health and well-being of Canadians, especially those with a disability.

The new Strategic Plan will focus on four pillars: (1) enhancing podium performances at Paralympic Games; (2) building a World-class Paralympic Sport System; (3) creating a sustainable business model for the Canadian Paralympic Committee; and, (4) expanding the awareness of Paralympic sport and building the Paralympic Brand.

“The Federal Government’s commitment represents a new era for the Paralympic Movement in Canada,” said Chantal Petitclerc, five-time Paralympic wheelchair racer and winner of 21 Paralympic medals. “It is very encouraging to see that up and coming athletes will have this type of support from their Government and I am thrilled to see Paralympic sport receive this kind of recognition.

This increase in funding demonstrates that encouraging healthy lifestyles for the 3.6 million Canadians living with disabilities through promotion of sport and recreation remains a priority for this government. It also reflects the growing pride and support of Canadians for the Canadian Paralympic Team. The Canadian Paralympic Committee and its athletes applaud the Federal Government for their support and their vital role in being a strong advocate of the Paralympic Movement.

(source: Canadian Paralympic Committee Press Release)

Paralympic Sports Day, September 18th

The Canadian Paralympic Committee Invites Canadians To Paralympic Sport Demonstrations During The First-Ever Sports Day In Canada

September 15, 2010 (Ottawa) – September 18th marks the first-ever Sports Day in Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee and its members are proud to invite Canadians to experience first-hand various Paralympic sports during hands-on sport demonstrations in Ottawa (ON) and Richmond (BC). With only 3% of people with disabilities physically active, this event will bring attention to the importance of sport in the lives of all Canadians, especially those with a physical disability. In partnership with many sports organizations, Canadians of all ages and abilities will have the unique opportunity to get active and join Paralympians in a wide variety of Paralympic sports while celebrating this national landmark event – Sports Day in Canada – and raising the awareness of the benefits of participating in sport.

WHERE, WHEN & HOW?

Richmond, BC

On September 18th, the public is invited to experience goalball, para-athletics, wheelchair basketball and many other sports alongside Canada’s Paralympians!

In addition, other sport representatives will be onsite to provide instruction to Canadians of all ages and abilities to experience Paralympic sports.

WHERE: Richmond Oval; 6111 River Road, Richmond, BC V7C 0A2

WHEN: September 18, from 11am to 2pm

COST: It’s FREE!

WHO? MEET WITH:
·       5-time Gold medalist in alpine skiing, Lauren Woolstencroft
·       Athletics athlete, Andrea Holmes
·       Wheelchair Basketball players, Richard Peters, Marnie Abbot-Peters and Robert Hedges
·       Wheelchair Curling players, Chris Daw and Darryl Neighbour
·       Boccia player, Alison Kabush
·       Wheelchair Tennis player,  Sarah Hunter
·       Nordic skier, Lou Gibson

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Ottawa, ON

As the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees compete against the McMaster Marauders in an exciting homecoming game, Paralympians from athletics, wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey, and many more sports will be on site, demonstrating their sports and teaching Canadians how to play!

WHERE:Lansdowne Park; 1015 Bank St, Ottawa ON, K1S 3W7

WHEN:September 18, from 12 to 4pm

COST: Group tickets are available at a rate of $4 if ordered in advance, or can be purchased on site at a rate of $4 (children) or $12 (adults). To order your tickets, contact Jessica Damery at [email protected]

WHO? MEET WITH:
·       Sledge Hockey players Jean Labonté, Shawn Matheson, Todd Nicholson and Hervé Lord
·       Nordic skiers Alexei Novikov and Margarita Gorbounova
·       Athletics athletes Jacques Bouchard and Leah Robinson
·       Goalball player Amy Kneebone

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT SPORTS DAY?

Sports Day in Canada is a national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high-performance levels, in communities across Canada. Sports Day in Canada caps off a week of thousands of local sporting events and activities, open houses and try-it days showcasing sport at all levels, and includes a special television broadcast on CBC Sports.

Sports Day in Canada is presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport and is guided by a committee of national sporting organizations including the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC).

To learn more or to search for events in your community, visit www.cbc.ca/sports/sportsday/

(Source: Canadian Paralympic Committee)