Canadian pride will kick into overdrive starting this Friday with the opening of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Four-time Olympian Hailey Wickenheiser will carry the flag at the opening ceremony with our Canadian Olympic Team of 221 athletes across 14 sports.
On March 7th, the 2014 Paralympic Games will open for 1,650 Paralympians from across the globe. Here is an inspiring video about our Canadian team!
Behind the scenes our team will also have roughly 150 each, of support staff and mission team members. Looking after the health of these 600 people who are 8,000km from home is another “team Canada”. The Health and Science Team is comprised of about 10 Core Team members, complemented by more than 50 other health care practitioners, including nutritionists, exercise physiologists and mental performance consultants.
You might be interested to know that Team Canada’s Chief Medical Officer at Sochi is a Queen’s grad: Bob McCormack (Meds’79). Now a faculty member at UBC, this is Dr. McCormack’s fifth Olympic Games in this role, and ninth as part of the medical team. By the way, Dr. McCormack also had a successful track career at Queen’s, setting two Canadian records. He wanted to compete at the 1980 Summer Games and managed to get time off from his medical studies from Dr. T.J. Boag (Queen’s Dean of Medicine at that time). Sadly, these games were boycotted – so his dream was not to be.
In total there are more than 6,500 elite athletes from 87 countries will compete for 1,300 medals. These are people who have dedicated much of their lives to have the chance to compete for their country on the world stage. As Jesse Owens said, “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” No matter your nation, opinion or political stripe – this kind of dedication, and in many cases, courage, should be applauded.
So from DeanOnCampus, join me in a salute to all of the athletes, volunteers and support staff in Sochi. Oh yes…and GO CANADA!
If you have any Olympic-related stories to share, please comment on this post, or better yet, drop by my office at the Macklem House…my door is always open.