Often, this is my favorite time of the year. The ski season is over, there is no mandatory dryland schedule, and for once we have the opportunity to live relatively normal lives. It is a time to celebrate the past, and look forward to the future.
I have had the opportunity to share my Olympic experience with a few groups at various events including the University of British Columbia – Okanagan Athletes Fundraiser, the BC Alpine AGM, and South Kelowna Elementary School. I was also able to help out with SMARTRISK – a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and lives by helping Canadians to see and manage the risks in their lives. SMARTRISK does this by educating youth to follow five simple rules: Buckle Up. Look First. Wear the Gear. Get Trained. Drive Sober.
At the end of April, Team Canada’s Olympic success was celebrated on Parliament Hill in the House of Commons, on the streets of downtown Montreal and at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Walking into the House of Commons was quite comical. Before we walked in arguments were being hurled across the room to opposing parties. Yet the minute we stepped into the quarters all arguments were put on hold. The members of Parliament agreed on the same thing for a moment and the room exploded with applause. This is a fine example of how the power of sport can bring people together, even politicians! The next day we paraded down St. Catherine’s street in downtown Montreal. We were on the same parade route the Montreal Canadiens marched after they won the Stanley Cup in 1993. The streets were jam packed with fans of all ages as they cheered us on. The weekend was capped off at the Olympic Hall of Fame where a celebration was held at the Bell Center. The night was filled with fine dining, live music, inspirational speeches, and good company.
This weekend, I am participating in a Special Olympic Fundraiser titled “Free the Fuzz”. The fundraiser is taking place from 8am to 8pm this Friday and Saturday in the Wal-Mart parking lots. Everyone is welcome to participate in the fun and games and witness myself and members of Kelowna’s Police department be put behind bars until the Special Olympians set us free.
I am currently back home in Kelowna with my family. With no pressing engagements, I can finally catch up with my friends and get involved in new outdoor hobbies. Time well deserved if you ask me.