Telling the Olympic Story – One Experience at a Time

I’ve never been what you’d call athletic. I couldn’t play sports myself because I couldn’t see enough.  So over the years, I’ve channeled my passion for sports into being the best and most enthusiastic fan I could be.

From the time I could remember, the Olympic Games have given me the ultimate sports high.  Winter or summer, I’ve been in a state of perpetual bliss, parking myself in front of every imaginable TV screen, from the teeny black and white of my childhood to our 20 year old color set. (This year, for the first time, it’ll be an awesome HD flat screen we’ve just bought. I’m pumped.)

And what a rollercoaster of emotions – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed, yelled, screamed and bawled my eyes out over the years.  My heart has alternately ached and swelled with pride for our Canadian athletes.  I’ve been captivated by the Red Ensign and the dear Maple Leaf hoisted above the medal platform.

I’m ready to do the whole thing again in less than two weeks.  But this time it’s going to be different. I’ll be living the Olympic experience in my new home in Vancouver, the host city.  I’ll be taking in two curling matches at a beautiful new facility just a mile or so from my home, where I can assure you I’ll be beside myself.

And  I’m part of an Olympic team as well.  No, we’re not athletes, but we’re bringing our own brand of dedication and passion to the Games.  The Metro Blenz News Squad will be telling the Olympic story through a variety of social media – the blogs we write, the photos we shoot, our Twitter and Facebook activity, and the visitors and locals we meet.

Why have I decided to get involved?  I have a few reasons.

I want to try to help people feel as comfortable and happy to be here as I have been made to feel.  I’m still new to Vancouver, still discovering, and I’m hoping to bring my unique ‘local visitor’ perspective to the table.

I also don’t think I’m the only excited, proud and rabid fan out there, and I want to help convey this unique experience over the next six weeks or so.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not, if you’ll pardon the pun, wearing blinders. No situation is perfect. There are many challenges. Not everyone is happy. Having grown up in Montreal, I know it’s fact of life in an Olympic town. It may be part of what I get to hear.  And I’ll write it down, along with everything else.

Log on to www.metroblenznewssquad.com and follow along. And if there’s something you think I should write about, leave me a comment.

Let the Games begin!

Once a Canadian…

I’ve been living in California on and off for eight years.  It was gut-wrenching to leave my dearest friends, my beloved cats and the best apartment I ever had.  I miss Casablanca, my favorite Moroccan restaurant and the fun I had pretending to belly dance.  I miss the warmth and the sunny days.  And God knows I miss Two Buck Chuck!!  I would move back in a minute.

But in the last five weeks I’ve re-discovered something about Canada I love and missed in Silicon Valley.  I’m talking about curling.  Yes, that strange sport where folks slide heavy rocks down a sheet of ice in the hopes of knocking other rocks out of the rings and get closest to the button.  I had lots of blank stares when I tried to explain curling to Californians…

I’ve managed to come back right in the middle of curling season and I am in curling heaven. The Tournament of Hearts just ended, and the Brier just started yesterday – which means when I’m not at the computer  I’ll be in front of the TV.  And then in a few weeks, curling Nirvana, with the men’s and women’s world titles.  I am content.

And to top off my oh-so-Canadian experience, it snowed in Vancouver this afternoon – all over the beautiful palm trees surrounding the house I’m staying in.  I have come to hate the idea of snow.  But it was so darned beautiful I had to run out in it.

So I guess you can take the girl out of Canada…but you can’t totally take Canada out of the girl.