1 Mar 2010
February has come and gone! I hardly BLINKED! Surprisingly, I did stay awake, in spite of staying late just about every night to watch the Vancouver Winter Olympics which began on February 12 and ended on February 28. February turned out to be an action-packed month!
Before I get into the Olympics, I do want to mention that I had fun at the Motley Crue concert at the ACC. My friends and I became a bit nostalgic that night. I can't believe their 30th anniversary is next year -- but, certainly not without all the ups and downs, like many rock bands. I emailed some of you with some details and impressions about the show. Well, that was February 4th, which now seems so long ago! BLINK...
Celebrating the Year of the Tiger at my sister's/niece's place was a really nice start to the Chinese New Year. It was on the same day as Valentine's Day, and, it also took place during a long weekend (here in Ontario) -- BONUS! My sister celebrates her birthday according to the lunar calendar, so, she was born on Chinese New Year's Day. She's only 70 years young. It was really nice to also enjoy dinner at a Chinese restaurant the previous week, as she and her family and close friends showered her with good wishes and blessings, while we were showered with lots of fabulous food!
Since Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day are very "red" themed, Larry was so thoughtful to give mom and I those infamous red HBC Canadian Olympic mitts, as well as a tuque. I got an Olympic bear -- that's special! I named him Bilobear (thanks Victoria, my friend) after Alexandre Bilodeau, the first Canadian to win a gold medal for Canada in a Canadian Olympic game. He won the Olympic moguls event on February 14th, so, it seemed quite fitting that my Valentine Olympic bear would be named after him!
The inspiring story and gold medal won by Alex Bilodeau paved the way for Canadian athletes, who, like Alex, were pursuing their great dreams. With numerous hours of practice behind them, their courage, passion and determination spurred them on. For athletes, it is not an easy road and these Olympic games are part of their incredible journey.
If you think that injuries are the worse thing the athletes could face, you're wrong. In fact, on the first day of the Olympics just hours before the opening ceremony, a 21-year-old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died during a training run in Whistler, B.C. It was a sad reminder of the dangers of competitive sports and the courage it takes to face such challenges. I remember watching the other Georgian athletes as they entered the BC Place Stadium, with their sad, solemn faces, yet they decided to stay for the games -- and shouts from all the people in that stadium cheered them on. It was simply one of several touching moments which would take place throughout the 17 days of competition.
Canadian figure skater, Joannie Rochette, also suffered a personal tragedy two days before her first performance. Her mother had just arrived in BC and died from a heart attack on February 21st. They never even had time to say good-bye. Joannie decided to continue on. She gave a perfect performance on Tuesday - it was her very best. She met the standard, she did not falter. She poured all her energy into a well-practised routine and was honoured to finish that night's performance in third place. As soon as she finished, she broke down in tears. She was showered with encouraging cheers and gifts thrown onto the ice, in compassionate support. So many people felt her pain and admired her courage -- not just Canadians. Joannie didn't have to get it together just for one night. There was still one more night to endure. On Thursday, Joannie performed once again. The competition was tough. In the end, she received the bronze medal, but, I think she deserved a gold medal for her courage as well as the honour of carrying the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony. When she was interviewed, she said, a lot of things made her cry that week, but, she would smile at the closing ceremony and celebrate how great Canadians had performed. She was thinking of the team and that selfless mindset is admirable.1
Well, I just cannot leave this episode of KaTsZoNe without even mentioning THE GAME! I'm not a big hockey game, but, even I know, this would be a historic game! If you were anywhere grounded on Canadian soil, most of you were probably glued to a t.v. screen somewhere. In my home, Bilobear was cheering, I was cheering, mom was cheering (silently) but mom told me later, she was praying for Canada to win the gold! I was sure that it would be a very close game and I knew, Canada didn't have a sure win yet! Even though Canada was leading, then, just 20 seconds before what would have been the end to the game, the U.S. team scored a goal. A LUMP IN OUR THROATS! OH MY GOSH! That meant that 20 minutes of overtime was ahead. Lots of nailbiting and sweating, I'm sure! Before we knew it, 22-year-old Sidney Crosby snuck that puck into the opponent's net. HE DID IT! Finally, an Olympic gold for the men's hockey team. I bet the cheers and celebrating shook Canada from coast to coast....to coast! WOW!
There were so many great moments during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and I wish I could proudly tell you all the stories. For me, personally, especially in the last couple weeks, while walking home during a snowstorm, shoveling snow or even falling on the ice, I thought about all the Olympic athletes. I saw many skiers fall on the slopes or fall hard when they could not land on their feet during aerial skiing. Speed skaters stumbled and fell on the ice. Lugers flipped upside down and were dragged on the track. Biathlon competitors missing targets and had to ski extra distances as a penalty. Figure skaters surpassed their "personal best" scores and felt so proud of it.
My friends, be courageous -- dare to dream! You may think that your dreams are yours alone, but, it could become more...much more than that. You may think that it's just between you and your family and some friends. Well, what if it's not? What if your dreams can inspire your neighbours, classmates, co-workers? Or, what if you, too, can inspire a nation! Don't keep it to yourself. Dare to dream!
Thank you all for sharing in my dream of writing KaTsZoNe and being able to share my special moments with all of you.
Cheers and blessings,
Check out past episodes of KaTsZone at:
Calendar of Events on KaTsZoNe:
1 "'I thought: Why me?' Flag-bearer Rochette says" (February 28, 2010, www.vancouversun.com/business/thought+flag+bearer+Rochette+says/2626106/story.html)
Alexandre Bilodeau - www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-freestyle-skiing/athletes/alexandre-bilodeau_ath1012843tY.html,
Joannie Rochette - www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-figure-skating/athletes/joannie-rochette_ath1012611Sh.html,