That BIG somewhere, out there…

After leaving Victoria on July 16th, I will finally return today a month and a half later.  That time led to many thrilling adventures, and home will serve as a brief ‘rest’ before the next adventure begins.  Returning is, naturally, very exciting. I’ve missed my baby, errr Cat a lot and cannot wait for some quality cuddle time.  It will be wonderful to breath the air, and hug the many friends I’ve missed… of course returning also means leaving which is always bittersweet.  I feel very blessed to have friends and family all over the globe.  In one way it’s incredible because I’m often surrounded by those near & dear regardless of where I am.  Conversely, I feel like I am always missing the people I’m not near.

I have always thought I’m slightly insatiable. I can never get never enough.  And frequently the limited time I do get to spend on visits (like the one I just had) mostly serve to remind me how much I love spending time with those family/friends.  The only possible solutions I feel are: cloning, teleporters, or everyone living on a comune. But more on that in another post 😉

I often remember that movie/song… and while it is comforting to a certain extent, just like the envelope of love my mother gives me – it still doesn’t prevent me, a 32 year old woman, from crying in the airport because she’s leaving her Mommy & Daddy. (Oh jeez)

I feel like that is a sign of what is to come because as of the beginning of October I will be heading over to England for a year of new adventures!  Malcolm will be studying and rowing at Oxford, doing a one year masters program and racing in the famed Oxford-Cambridge boat race.  I am thrilled at the possibilities that await across the pond: meeting new people, taking in the history and the culture, travelling-exploring-learning-growing.  I also have a feeling that more people will come to visit, and so there won’t be a need to invest in Kleenex stock as I will have regular doses of the True North Strong & Free.

And so, before I end this I want to say a simple THANK YOU.  My family and friends are so important to me.  I feel that distance truly serves to give perspective on things in life, and the kilometres continually show me how blessed I am to have such incredible people in my life. Thank you for making me smile, laugh, for the old memories and the new ones, for inspiring me, supporting me, pushing me, and helping me.  Thank you for making my heart overflow.

My family celebrating Malcolm’s (and my) return from London

“Ready for my close up Mr.Camera Man”

As I’ve previously noted, I had the privilege of working for CTV at the Olympics as an analyst for the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition.  Although I was pretty nervous before it all began I have to admit, it was a lot of fun!!! I guess all of those years of “practice” paid off! I hope that I will have the chance to do it again, be it for rhythmic gymnastics or as a springboard for something else/different.

For those of you not in Canada, and unable to watch it I have found a youtube version. Enjoy!! (click on the name below)

Evgeniya Kanaeva , 2012 Olympic Champion – ball 

Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva performs her ball routine in podium training.

Let the hangover begin!!!

In as many ways as the Olympics start with a bang, they also finish equally abruptly.  It is quite remarkable how something you plan and prepare for, for years is suddenly upon you… and then it’s all over in what feels like the blink of an eye.  Yesterday, as I had some time to myself I began to realize the overwhelming surge of emotions that I had obviously suppressed (for the most part).  The Olympics is inevitably one of the greatest emotional roller coasters of all time. Someone you know (or at least feel an affinity for) is experiencing their greatest triumph or their greatest defeat.  If someone you love/care about/know is competing, you want, so very strongly, for them to perform well and yet have no capacity to do anything other than love, wish, pray, and cheer. (And we all know I do a lot of all of these – especially the latter. Which is why this picture was so meaningful to me!)

A billboard in London that captures my sentiments exactly!

But enough about that. What’s happened has happened. It is impossible to stay up all of the time, and it was a remarkable few weeks. Besides as Dr. Seuss once wrote: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

And smile I did. Of course my husband winning a silver had a lot to do with it.  To see their ability to overcome themselves, unite, refocus and then do what they are capable of was remarkable. (If you just get out of your own way… it’s amazing what will come to you. -Laird Hamilton.)  It was also a lot of fun catching other events, taking in the atmosphere and pride of Great Britain and cheering on incredibly talented athletes.

But, one of the most fun parts was doing analysis for CTV. If you know me (and likely for most of you reading this, you know me well), you know that it is a role I would treasure. It is in fact a role I have been rehearsing for most of my life.  You see, when I was a young girl, not only would I practice gymnastics in my back yard, but after my routine I would interview myself. Destiny? Fate? Perhaps…

Jumping into a position you’ve never done while the entire nation is watching is, to put it mildly, slightly nerve wracking. I kept reminding myself that the majority of people watching were going to be the people who love me most, and like my mother, well you’re stuck with me and I’m pretty sure you’d still love me regardless of the outcome.  BUT, I have to say I was surprised, pleased and overwhelmed with the outpouring of positive comments and support. Thank you one and all for your kind messages!  My artistic gymnastics counterpart Kyle Shewfelt, warned me not to look at twitter or facebook during the broadcast – and with much hesitation I went against his advice. Thankfully at this point no one has highlighted those moments where I stuck my foot in my mouth, or began to go down one path and half way down realized “ahhh I don’t want to be here!” so I aborted mission.  If you do have constructive criticism I would eventually like to hear it (lovingly wrapped in kindness of course), because hopefully this will not be my last broadcasting opportunity.

On set with Rod Black ready to tape the Review/Preview

I think it was so much fun because I was working with one of the best – Rod Black. He along with the production team were so helpful and nurturing, guiding me the whole way along.  I was lucky to be in London so that I had a chance to check out the venue since initially CTV wanted me to ‘call it’ from Toronto.  In fact, perhaps you were not aware but the whole time Rod and I were in a little black booth in the International Broadcast Centre!!!

Our little black booth

It’s too bad we didn’t get to experience it live, but I’m not complaining. The accreditation pass I received is too good to be true – and if I ever make it to another Olympic Games I don’t know how I’d live without one. There were even a few times where I could get somewhere and Malcolm couldn’t – a shocking first, and second, and…. (hehehe)


As I lived and breathed these last few weeks in my various capacities I often wondered what makes the Olympics so special.  It is so powerful to be a part of the World coming together to celebrate people’s dreams, their excellence through work & passion, and to unite in harmony.  We revel in the stories regardless of sport, nation, or gender. But there is magic beyond this.  Perhaps it is because unlike the NHL with it’s 82 games per season, or the MLB with 162 (!!!), these competitors have one shot. Everything must come together in this particular moment in time. And what a challenge that is. For every athlete that wins there are so many more that are fighting for that podium. For every athlete that qualifies and competes there are thousands who have been so close. Yes, Olympians are incredible… but can’t it really be about the journey and not the destination (even in the aftermath of London 2012)?!

The lack of over saturation of amateur sport and the Olympics helps to maintain its allure and importance.  Yet many of these athletes (after taking a brief pause) will be back training for Rio very soon.  One person who always remembered – in the good times, the bad, and before they were stars was Randy Starkman.  He was a journalist, but more importantly a friend and advocate of amateur athletes, always caring more about the person than the story.  When he died suddenly in April of this year, the sporting world mourned. It was an honour to attend a breakfast remembering Randy and the legacy he left behind.

One of the catch phrases of these Olympics was “Inspiring a Generation”.  I know I was personally moved and motivated by the performances I saw, by the people who made the  Games happen (the volunteers were outstanding), by the triumphs and those who rose out of the ashes, and by the friendships gained along the way.  I hope you have been inspired as much I have – and I hope that we can all continue to give life to the Olympic ideals until the next torch is lit in Rio.

PS. I say this like the Para-Olympic Games aren’t just a few weeks away! PHEW, we couldn’t just end it right there… please be sure to tune in. If you thought you were already inspired, you haven’t seen anything yet!!!!

Taking in the excitement of Olympic Park


Gymnasts making their mark in London

The past few weeks have been quite remarkable for female gymnasts… and I’m including artistic, trampoline and rhythmic in that group!  The women on Canada’s artistic team not only qualified a full team to these Games, but then made team finals. AND, if that wasn’t enough they improved on their result through their consistency and strength and finished in 5th position!! Bluewater Gymnastics Club’s (where I’ve choreographed quite frequently) Dominique Pegg qualified to the AA final, and finished in 17th place. AND, Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers made Vault finals.

And then there was Trampoline. Four time Olympian Karen Cockburn showed her true class, and (in my opinion) should have won bronze (and instead came 4th).  But the moment we had all been waiting for was Canada’s Gold Medal winning routine courtesy of Rosie MacLennan.  I was speaking with her coach Dave last night at Canada House… and it was my impression her win was not a surprise to him. She had definitely been gaining momentum, and was able to put it all together when it counted!  (and isn’t that really what the Olympics are about – it all coming together in this one moment in time…)

Speaking of that word: MOMENTUM.  I’m really hoping that our Canadian Rhythmic Team can keep this good swing going!  The girls have it, or so it seems. Just arriving from their European training base in Marbella, the Rhythmic team has settled into the village and begin their training today.  I am excited to go & watch them tomorrow and Wednesday before their competition begins on August 9th.

Be sure to check the Viewers Guide

Katrina Cameron (in her Gymnastics Mississauga days) at the COH

Ps. When I was at Canada Olympic House guess who I found?!  Pretty awesome… I think later on I also saw Rose Cossar but sadly I don’t have a pic – sorry Rosie!!!

Bed time. Early rise for practice tomorrow – can’t wait to see the girls in action!

Baby Alexandra Landry at the Canadian Olympic House

What goes up… must come down ;)

The Olympics are a roller coaster. They have to be. No one can stay UP that long. Furthermore inherently when there is a winner – there are those that don’t win… I’m not using the L word because NO ONE here is that awful five letter word. They are all champions, they are all heroes.

Yesterday in particular was one of those days… it was utterly heartbreaking to see Paula Findley’s experience.  The dangerous course took it’s tool on her, as well as the challenging year she’s had.  She is a tremendous athlete and person.  I know that this experience however frustrating and ‘saddening’ is truly going to make her even better in the long run. That has always been my experience.  We (Malcolm, Anita, Alex & I) were at Canada Olympic House when the Cycling team pursuit and Trampoline were on.  From the lowest of lows, to literally the highest of highs (Rosie & Karen) when Canada won it’s first Olympic Medal and Karen showed true class in her fourth Olympics.

Yesterday was also a low day for me… although I suppose going to bed at 5:30 am will do that to you 😉 I think “it” all finally got to me. The highs, the emotions, the lack of sleep. Yesterday I was a wreck. AND I was loosing my voice. A slight occupational hazard when the Commentary has yet to begin… Well, as my mom has always called me ‘wretched excess’ so it’s really no surprise.  Alas, it’s time to get a bit of balance.

It is hard not to do everything – or try to.  But the distance of where we’re staying, the distances to walk at all of the venues, and the crowds make it all seem like a battle to get to where you’re going.  Olympic Park is vast and when you put that in combination with millions of people it’s not a place I’ve enjoyed very much thus far.  But, I suppose if it’s a fight to get to the Olympics for the athletes why should it be any different for us?!

I suppose now I should talk about what you’re all likely wondering: Is Prince Harry really that cute in person? Malcolm (and I) did have the honour of representing the Rowers during Prince Harry’s visit to Canada Olympic House. It was a pleasure to meet him – he truly is very kind and generous, and very relaxed… I have a tendency to think “he’s just another guy who was born into a certain life”… but it is impressive what he’s done with his life and his position.  The most fun was watching how easy the conversation was as Malcolm talked Apache helicopters during the race… boys will be boys 😉

Anyways. The day is calling and there’s always a tonne to do. I should head off but hopefully the next post will be a little more frequent and I will try to post some pictures too. Here’s to another great day!!!!

Silver’s SO SWEET!

WOW. All I can say is what an incredible journey and triumph this has been!

This is short & sweet (but still not as sweet as that silver baby)… I don’t have much time as I have to head to the celebrations! BUT, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of our dear friends and family for their continuous love and support.  You have all had a wonderful impact and influence, and it truly means so much!

I hope you will understand my inability to respond to each one of your facebook comments/messages just yet. BUT, we definitely feel the love and truly truly are so grateful for your kind words!

I know this is the sign of things to come for the Rowers and Team Canada… GIVE YOUR EVERYTHING!!! (And the boys definitely did!)

Much love & big cheers all around xoxo
~ EH!!!!!!