Jackie's IOA Journal: Canada Day in Olympia
Right now I am sitting in the middle of the cafeteria/bar and it is past midnight. It looks like at least 75% of the participants at the academy are either in this room or right outside. Many people from different countries are learning about each other through discussion, playing cards, playing games, playing table tennis and even by sitting together and using social network sites like Facebook and twitter. Sitting in this atmosphere has inspired me to ask all of my new friends what they think about Canada and Olympism. Here are their answers in their words…
Patrick Hischier, from Switzerland, thinks Canada has one of the most beautiful landscapes, and of course believes that when talking about Olympics he wanted to say that he thought we organized really cool games in Vancouver. He was so happy for us to win the gold medal in hockey because we are linked to hockey so often.
Lasse Hoel, from Norway, would really like to say hello to his friend Sarah in Ottawa! Lasse thinks Canadians in general are good quality people and that this is an important aspect in promoting good values, which goes hand in hand with Olympism. (Patrick adds that unfortunately Lasse’s Norwegian style is just too rough to correspond with Olympic values)
Susi Proell, from Austria, thinks that what is unique in Canada is that not only do we accept differences, but we actually believe that it is good to have many different cultures together and that they are all equal.
David Grenade, from Mauritius, got the opportunity to meet two nice people, me and Sylvain, from a marvellous country with a nice accent, nice smiles and hopes that one day he will visit us!
Victoria Roberts from Australia thinks Canada is a world leader in its commitment to and understanding of the need to develop athletes using a holistic approach.
Nele Varendi, from Estonia, is excited for one of her good friends to move to Canada and really wants to wish her good luck in Canada when she arrives in August! Even better – Nele is going to come visit us herself!
Niki Koutrou, from Greece, thinks Canada has the most organized Olympic education program in the world! Mike Kwik (see below) is Niki’s best friend and Benoit Sequin is the best professor!
Federico Abate Daga, from Italy, says first of all, we are very good at hockey! Also, there are a lot of natural parks and conservation areas that he likes. Plus, the streets and cars are bigger than they have in Italy! And while considering that he saw Vancouver Olympics on TV and was at the Torino Olympics it’s hard to compare them with each other. But it was clear that Vancouver had a problem because there was no snow and it made some of the events hard. In the end Federico thinks that the Canada Olympics were organized well and apart from some sad events, Canada had a good set of Games.
Dashdendev Gansukh, from Mongolia, says that first of all, he has a lot of connections with Canada. His brother-in-law and his girlfriend are Canadian! He has gotten to know that the Olympics in Canada would definitely be very interesting to all Canadians. He can relate Canada to Mongolia because of it’s size and because of it’s natural and untouched parks. His girlfriend is in British Columbia and she believes it’s the most beautiful place she has ever seen and he so much wants to visit us and he is very glad that the 2010 Olympics gave so many people that opportunity. More importantly, the Canadian ideals of sport not only bring together nations in one country, but allow people to explore the fascinating nature of Canada!
Talo Desmaison, from Peru, thinks we have a very well organized academy in comparison with developing countries. And that we are a great example to the world.
Mike Kwik, from CANADA (!), says that being selected directly by the International Olympic Academy for his work in Canada, make him extremely proud… proud of himself. He was selected to represent his country with the world here in Greece. He has been honoured on a global scale and forever will be honoured by this. During his time in Canada he has been an athlete, represented his nation in a Canadian football tour of Europe and been awarded international sportsmanship prizes. Being selected to play football at the University of Ottawa , where his team won a Vanier cup was another honour of the highest degree. Being able to be a part of several Olympic medals with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, helped him continued to grow! Also, after competing in five Calgary Stampedes, he believes he has represented Canada’s truest values. He says hello from Olympia!
Sounds to me that Canada is well thought of around the world for our great natural country, our educational system, our values and beliefs and the excellent job we did hosting the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics!