Hello from the Olympic Village! | Salutations du Village olympique!

<La version française suit>

The Olympic Village is fantastic and our advance members of the Canadian Team have set up an amazing space for us here – I can’t wait for you to join us in Tokyo! I’ve already been doing my daily spit collection and temperature recording and, just like in Canada, I wear my mask, wash my hands and keep some distance from those around me. Even though it’s different – trust me, as athletes are now arriving – the potential energy is building… it feels VERY OLYMPIC here!

I know not all of you will be coming to the OV and while reports from many of the host cities and venues have been that they are organized and incredibly welcoming, there are some areas where COVID-19 concerns prevail. Whatever your situation – we’ll do everything we can to make it better, but please – don’t let it throw you off course. 

I’ve mentioned many times that this is my 10th Olympic Games, so that means 10 Olympic Villages, 10 Olympic “Vibes” and 10 Host Cities, their volunteers and host populations.  So far – I’ve met nothing but friendly excited faces – but we know that there is tension among the Japanese public, and the Japanese Government is determined that these will be a safe and successful Games, for the athletes and the Japanese people. And they will be! 

The other day, in the global Chef de Mission meeting, IOC President Thomas Bach stressed the importance of following all COVID-19 Protocols “regardless if you think they are logical or not.” That the Playbook rules exist and are enforced is the reason that the Government of Japan allowed the IOC to have these Games. Without the Playbook rules we’d all be waiting another 3 years for the Paris 2024 Games for the chance to challenge our Olympic Dreams.

This is not the time, nor the Games, to be looking for “grey zone” work arounds. Whether you are in Tokyo or in a pre-Games Host City, just settle into the rules, play by them and thrive in the environment that is. It is what it is – and someone is going to win in these conditions.

Continue reading

On the doorstep! | À la porte des Jeux!

<La version française suit>

July 1,  Canada Day!!  2021

First off, it is impossible for me to cheer for Canada and not also cry for Canada. I write that as a fiercely proud Canadian, who acknowledges that we must face mistakes in our past, including the settler role and its horrific impact on Indigenous peoples. The discovery of more children, taken from their families and treated like this is heartbreaking – we need to do more. I promise to learn and do more, including reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission summary and recommendations, especially recommendations 87 to 91 about what we, in the sport world, can do. 

Soon enough (if not already!) you will be arriving in Japan and then moving into your Olympic accommodation. For me, as an athlete, this was a time when I would have to remember to adjust my critical lens…moving the focus from competence to confidence; in part, this helped me win my four Olympic medals. In a previous message I wrote a caution regarding our laser focus on our ‘To-Do list’ at the expense of awareness of our ‘Done List’. At that time, I positioned that awareness as a tool to support our mental health. Now – it’s a strategy for your high performance. I’ll tell you how…  

Continue reading