Cheering ‘our’ team

The Red and White is undeniable at every Olympic venue in London. And make no mistake, the athletes notice.

At Rowing venue Eton Dorney, Lauren Wilkinson and her teammates earned a silver medal in Women’s Eight. She said the noise of the crowd was a big piece of the crew’s success.

“It was pretty amazing,” said Wilkinson. “First being in the boat and having that wall of sound coming at you when you are going through the final 500 metres. Then actually getting to watch some of Canadian boats race and being in the cheering section, willing the boats going faster is really something,” she said.

The stands at rowing were packed each day to capacity, similar for the Women’s Soccer team. In the stands at Coventry Stadium for the victory over Team Great Britain, were Barb and Brady Welch, both were born in Canada but grew up in England — torn over who to cheer, but eventually siding with the Maple Leaf.

The Welchs’ were two of about 28,800 people at the soccer game. Playing in front of that many people does not faze midfielder Rhian Wilkinson, though. She says the fans make all the difference.

“It’s really cool I walking out on the field. I appreciated that moment, the crowd just roaring. How cool. It’s a really great job I’ve got,” she said after their game.

At the Men’s Volleyball venue at Horse Guards Parade a bunch of boisterous, enthusiastic Canucks fans showed true patriot pride in hockey helmets, wearing Canada flags as capes and beer in hands chanting “GO CANADA GO!”

Longtime friends of Canadian player Josh Binstock, some dating back to high school, who wanted to cheer him on at his Olympic debut.  Binstock said he will speak for all athletes with this message to Canadian fans: “THANK YOU!”