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February 27, 2018

This year for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics we wanted to get involved, we wanted to show our support and provide Canadians with a chance to build community during the games. Our Olympic Campaign aims to amplify Canadian spirit and community throughout the 16-day duration. We partnered with the Canadian Sport Institute to not only share some of the stories of the amazing Canadian athletes but also to donate to the organization. 

We asked you, yes you, to like and comment on our Instagram picture to help us launch our Olympic campaign. For every like and comment, we said we would donate 0.25 cents to the Canadian Sport Institute. With your help, we accumulated 1410 Likes and 141 Comments to equal to $387.75!

As the Olympics have come to a close, tonight will be the last blog of our Olympic campaign brought to you by the Canadian Sport Institute! Scroll, read and enjoy!

Let's dive into it!


Canadian Sport Institute Calgary’s Cara Button is Behind the Scenes in PyeongChang 

February 24th in PyeongChang….it feels like I just got here and yet we only have 2 more days to go.  This is my second time being part of the Canadian Mission Team at the Winter Olympics.  My role here is to provide administrative support…..and all other duties!  One thing that is consistent at Games, you just never know what you will deal with.  Housekeeping has been an issue at these Games.  The workers have been brought in from Seoul but are clearly not trained or experienced with cleaning rooms.  We are in an apartment complex housing 200+ people and they arrive with a swifter mop and a box of baby wipes.  Things have improved in that area after much back and forth discussion and live demos!  

I am living in the village on the coast.  There are 2 villages here, one in the mountains and one on the coast.  The sports on the coast are figure skating, curling, speed skating (long and short) and hockey – all indoor sports and for that, I am grateful!  It was bitter cold when we first arrived and everyone said it was even colder in the mountains.  I know it is the WINTER Olympic Games and we should expect that but after Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, we’ve come to expect balmy winter weather.

Every NOC (National Olympic Committee, i.e. Canada) has a number of volunteer NOC assistants assigned to them.  These are typically young University aged students who want to be part of the Olympic experience.  These NOC assistants can be from anywhere and are selected based on their ability to speak more than one language or if they know the host country well.  We love our NOC assistants and couldn’t operate as we do without them.  They are great at translating for us and for helping navigate PyeongChang for purchases we’ve needed to make.  One of our NOC assistants has been with our team in both Sochi and Rio.  She is from Moscow and just loves Canada, the Olympic Games, and Tessa & Scott!  

Speaking of Tessa & Scott, they are as wonderful as they appear on TV.  I sat behind them at Figure Skating yesterday and they graciously took pictures with everyone who asked, even though they were there to cheer on their teammates Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman.  Tessa told me her highlight of the Games was hanging out with the Canadian team prior to walking into Opening Ceremony.  A lot of the athletes on this team had competed in Sochi so the team is very tight and it shows.  They go to watch each other compete as much as possible and it means a lot to every athlete when they see (hear) the stands full of Canadians cheering them on.

One of my prouder moments was also at figure skating talking with Patrick Chan.  He was giving us some insight on the athletes competing, their coaches, judges etc…and then he mentioned how the sport needs to advance more and take into account better physiological preparation.  He then went on to sing the praises of his experience this past year working with Canadian Sport Institute Calgary physiologist Kelly Quipp and Strength and Conditioning coach Anna Aylwin.  He said he wished he’d connected with them sooner as they really helped give him peace of mind and confidence.  It is always a great thing to get athlete validation for the services we are delivering and a high profile athlete like him can also influence others.

Although we watch our share on TV as we are working, we try to get to live events when we can.  I was fortunate to be able to attend the Luge team event.  There were so many fans and Mission Staff from Calgary at that event to cheer this team on.  No one was saying it, but we all felt this team DESERVED a medal after finishing 4th in Sochi, being told they had been upgraded to bronze due to a doping infraction and then having that decision reversed. We all know the outcome and how happy we were with that team and that organization.  When I spoke with a couple of them afterward, they said it was the first time ever they could hear the cheering at the start of their run and how invigorating it was for them.  I’ve been to many sporting events in my life and being at that event will always rank up there as one of the best.  The crowd was so boisterous before and during the race and we were all teary eyed and ecstatic when they won silver – it was simply a great sporting moment.

We’ve seen a number of our Calgary based athletes win medals but most of them have been based in the mountains and I’m on the coast.  The best moments are when I run into them at either Canada House or here in our office where they come to pick up tickets.  As soon as they see me, they ask if I want to see their medals. I can’t help but smile – they are so proud, as they should be and just love being asked to take a picture with them and their medal.

Gearing up for a big day tomorrow with Closing Ceremony, Closing Party and then getting everyone and their luggage on buses to the airport in time to catch planes here, there and everywhere.  It’s a logistical challenge but the team is well prepared and everything is in place for a smooth departure.

Oh – and the moose got moved in the middle of the night from the front of our building to a platform on the side of our building.  So far, no one is taking credit for it.  The move would have required a bit of upper body strength and happily, no damage was incurred!


Tune in next week to see what we have on the blog! If you or someone you know would like to be a guest blogger on our blog drop us a line! Chat at chaaa next week Canada - stay local! 

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