Adventures on the rocks
Inspiration continues to carry me through my time in Sochi.
Inspiration and awe.
I've had four unforgettable opportunities to witness history in the making, starting with the Opening Ceremony, including figure skating and speed skating and ending with the Canada versus Norway hockey game last night.
Each event special in its own way but not without the emotion and strength, power and drive that so often characterise the sports in the Games.
I had been worried about the Opening Ceremony, I'll admit. My concern and worry led me to pack a "survival kit" (diarrhoea pills, a snack, copies of my passports, band-aids, etc) and my heart stopped when the pyrotechnics went off in the stadium. My senses were heightened and because of this I absorbed the history, the theatrics and the magic of the whole show.
Figure skating was beautiful and in as few words as possible: mesmerizing. It brought me back to the day I told my dad I wanted to be an ice skater when I grew up...as if it was a job I could just apply for. I was fascinated by the costumes - the glitter and the glamour - and drawn in by the precision of the twirls and elegant lines. I had a tear in my eye when the Russian team stood on the podium with the U.S. and Canada right by their side. The members of each team competed for one another and they were there, the best of the best, because of what their teammates did for them - that's the beauty of team sport.
Speed skating is grace on another level. The power behind each fluid motion is unimaginable, yet these powerhouse skaters glide in slow motion as if a breeze is just pushing them along the ice.
And hockey - well, what is there to say except that I'm beyond thrilled that I got to see my champion boys play.
Russian fans dominate the stadiums; their spirit infectious and their hospitality warm.
The man sitting in front of me at the hockey game (read: the man whose ear I cheered, whooped and clapped into) could tell I was a Canada fan. He was rooting for Norway. But after the game, which Canada took 3 to 1, he turned around, shook my hand and congratulated me and my team with a thumbs up.
Sport knowns no boundaries. Good game, my friend.