Winter Is Coming

In 15 days, I will be flying to Seoul and the Winter Olympic Games. Even though it will be my 4th Olympic experience, it is going to be a first in many ways as a Mission Team member. It has a different taste than before. It feels new. As a “summer athlete”, the Winter Games are new to me. I started watching curling, cheering on our junior hockey team at World Championships, and follow skiers on Instagram!

It is a new world that has an atmosphere of déjà vu. The accreditation and clothing process, the International Olympic Committee rules, the Village presentation are no strangers to me. But I have the opportunity to experience what happens behind the scene. It is impressive to see hundreds of people working on marketing, nutrition, security and safety, transport, accommodation, clothing. It is a huge operation and a real lesson of project management. If I knew that nothing happened by itself, it is great to experience it.

The feeling of excitement grows as the event gets closer and closer. It is not the same as the one I was used to as an athlete, but I feel the Games coming. It is all around us. People talk about it. It is all over the media. The Winter Olympic Games in Canada are a big deal. I realize how privileged and lucky I am to be part of this Team.
As part of the Team, I have a role and a mission. With the help of the Canadian Olympic Committee and my fellow mentors, I have had some time to prepare myself and understand what my mission will be as an Athlete Mentor. We had the opportunity to work with an Executive Coach to help us understand our role, our strengths and weaknesses. Visualizing situations that we could potentially face was very helpful for me. It was a real work on myself to help me help others. If my mission will have some logistical and day-to-day things to do, I will be within the Village during the Games to listen and offer, if needed, a Games-specific perspective to the athletes. The concept: “who better to understand an athlete than an athlete”. With an outside vision and without being in the “performance tunnel”, I hope to anticipate certain situations, have a listening ear, create a positive environment, and simply be present whenever it is needed. We will be on site 10 days before the opening ceremony to prepare everything for the athletes. Once the closing ceremony is over, we will stay to clean and pack up. A full month in the heat of the event seems long but I am pretty sure it will go by very fast.

I would like to give a special mention to my “daily life teammate” who supported me as an athlete, and still supports me in this new Olympic adventure.

Winter is coming and “the adventure goes on…”.