Yesterday started with a fancy event with London High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and the Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast. I had the privilege being joined by Canadian hockey star Jayna Hefford and together we shared our Gold Medal stories with all of the business delegates, government officials, and other guests -meet and greet, and a LOT of photos! The event was put on by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and Financial Times to encourage guests to bring their business to Canada and I met a lot of lovely people. Later in the day I was back in the Larking Club for a less formal meet and greet with guests of the Larkin Club. We watched the women's soccer semifinal, where, unfortunately, the US beat our Canadians.
Today I realized that triathlon is one of my favorite sports to watch. It was SO exciting! The British Brownlee brothers, took gold and silver with Jonathan having to step to the side of the track to serve a 15 second penalty for hopping on his bike a tiny little bit too early in the transition. Simon Whitfield had a crash and pulled out of the race, and Brent McMahon and fellow Canadian Kyle Jones placed 27th and 25th respectively.
Click here to listen to today's interview with Mountain FM with regards to my trip - Checking in August 7th
What a great day! Our hotel has a great gym so I got a workout in this morning, and then went to lunch at the Four Seasons with 15 of Canada's top CEOs (friends of Bell and CTV's). They managed to find some spare tickets for the festivities this evening so my Mom and I got to watch the swimming live at Olympic Park. Phelps was amazing, as usual, winning his 21st Olympic medal, and I was particularly impressed with the DJ in the aquatics centre, who played one of my favorite tunes -Gold Dust- upon the completion of the women's 800m race, and then a bunch of dubstep. We finished the evening off at a beautiful boutique hotel on Kensington, all while getting insanely frustrated about the crappy internet and not wanting to use my data on my phone, and eventually storming off to a corner store to buy a SIM card that works in the UK. I now fully realize my dependance on my text messaging abilities, twitter, & everything else that connects me to the people I love!
Wow! Sensory overload!
My lovely mother, Marilyn, and I flew out at 6:30pm and I slept the whole way. Like 8 hours, I think. When we landed at 11am, I felt great and by the time we got to our hotel on the tube I was already feeling like I had adjusted to the time zone. Unfortunately, as it turns out, while we were deciphering the London Underground maps and figuring out how to buy our Oyster Cards that grant us access to the Tube - we were missing Prince Harry's visit to Canada Olympic House. Lucky for me, I've already found my prince charming, so I was only moderately disappointed. My Mom, on the other hand... not so moderate.
Walking around London is breathtaking, but needless to say, a bit of a change of pace from the shores of Nitinat Lake, BC. The history of the palaces and cathedrals and other spectacular buildings is so intriguing and the intricacies of the designs and construction are unbelievable. I honestly don't really feel like we're in the midst of the Olympic Games when we aren't right at the venues. It's not like Vancouver's city-wide buzz, with people showing their Nations' colours in their clothing, on signs, and even painted on their faces. I said in my interview with the Mike and Tare Show on Vancouver's QMFM today that, during our Games, I seriously felt like everyone in the whole city was partying except for me. Not here, really. In fairness, maybe it's too early for me to be forming that opinion. I'll try to get more into the scene in the next few days. I can say for sure, that it is really, really nice to be a part of the Olympics without the pressure of competing. I did a really good job of convincing myself that I wasn't under any pressure during our Games but looking back on it, I realize just how much work that required. Even hearing the Olympic song on CTV as I was packing for this trip, I got all stressed out momentarily. And then I remembered "it's okay, not this time, your Olympic work is done" ... for a little while. Sochi sure is coming up quickly though!