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Monday, February 24, 2014

Canadian Gold

Over this past five day stretch, Sochi 2014 and Team Canada captivated the country.

From the come-from-behind Womens' bobsled win, to another come-from-behind win in Womens' hockey, to a complete puck control semi-final win in Mens' hockey over the USA, to the gold medal hockey game on Sunday morning, its been quite a five day stretch for Canadian athletes.  Toss in the two curling gold medal wins for Canada, a gold-silver juggernaut in Womens' ski-cross and you have a tough to replicate "best" five days ever.

With yesterday's closing ceremonies being the only thing that has been able to stop the Canada medal run, its hard to find excitement in the office today.

BTW - did any work get done last Thursday and Friday in Canada???

To keep the smile on your face and the patriotism in your heart, here is a video, that shows the jubilation in Canada of the Womens' hockey last minute game tying goal, plus the overtime gold medal winning goal, that will keep your Sochi good memories alive.

Finally, here is a video compilation of the reaction across Canada after the Canadian Mens' hockey team beat the Swedes to win the gold medal...

You can tell that I really enjoy these compilation videos...

Thank you to our hosts in Russia for presenting a wonderful, and safe Winter Olympic Games.

For comparison, here are two compilation videos from Vancouver 2010:
- Part 1 - when the USA tied the Mens gold medal hockey game and it went into overtime.
- Part 2 - when Sidney scored and Canada celebrated.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What a Game!

It wasn't quite Vancouver 2010 like, but it was still great.

Today's game between Canada and the USA was everything expected.  Yesterday's women's game between Canada and the USA was more than expected.

Work stopped.  Phones went quiet.  Everyone was clustered around televisions and computer screens.  It has been two great days of the country coming together.

It wasn't Vancouver....but I suspect not too many things in this world will ever be like that...but it was great.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Heard the Best Line...

The Globe and Mail's Roy McGregor wrote one of the funniest lines today. He interviewed and quoted Sochi Organizing Committee Head Dmitry Chernyshenko, who said, "As a child there were three horror films we knew from the west."  "One was Nightmare on Elm Street, the second one was Friday the 13th - and the third one was Miracle on Ice."

I guess Saturday evening's match up between the US and Russia was the sequel.

TJ Oshie from the St. Louis Blues must be Russia's "Jason Myers" as he scored on 4 of his 6 shoot out attempts.

Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky probably has nightmares and wakes up in a sweat with visions of Oshie stalking him with a stick and a puck.

It's shaping up to be a great Olympic hockey playoff.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Silver is the Olympic Golden Spirit

When Denny Morrison won silver in the 1,000m speed skating event the other day, the real winner was Gilbert Junio.

Junio exemplified the Olympic spirit more than any other athlete that I've seen since Norwejian Cross-Country Ski Coach, Bjornar Haakensmoen, gave Canadian Sara Renner, a new pole, after she broke hers at the 2006 Torino Winter Games.  Renner teamed with Beckie Scott to win the silver medal in the sprint relay final.  His gesture of goodwill allowed the Canadians, who were in first place, but who fell to fourth, after the broken pole, to get back in the race.  Ironically, the Norwegian team finished fourth, which meant that his goodwill may have cost his country a medal. 

Back to Junio.  At the Canadian Olympic trials, Morrison caught an edge and fell as he approached the finish of the 1,000m race.  This caused the veteran to not qualify for the 1,000m...and allowed Junio to qualify, in addition to the 500m, which was his specialty.

The day before the 1,000m race in Sochi, Junio offered up his spot to Morrison - a selfless act that I'm not sure that I or many others would have done.  In fact, making it that much more complicated, Junio's parents traveled to Sochi to see him race and had tickets to the 1,000m race.

When Morrison won the silver medal, it made Junio appear brilliant and someone with great premonition.  It also made Morrison want to share his medal with Junio.

In fact, Morrison has now started a campaign to get Junio selected to serve as the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies - an idea whose time may have come.  Is there anyone else who has demonstrated the Olympic ideals more?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bilodeau Does It Again

One of the best stories of the Vancouver Olympic Games was when Alex Bilodeau became the first Canadian ever, to win gold on home soil.  Making the story even better was his close relationship with his brother, Frederic, which was so evident as Bilodeau celebrated his win.

Well, Bilodeau has done it again.  Despite the fact that Mikhael Kingsbury of Canada was the favourite (reigning world champion) going into Sochi, Bilodeau rose to the occasion and when Kingsbury made just one small mistake, Bilodeau was there with a perfect run to secure his 2nd consecutive gold medal.

Great things happen to great people.  Congratulations Alex and Mikhael.

Back Blogging About the Olympics

During the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I had the great opportunity to work for VANOC (Organizing Committee), with the medical team, right in the Olympic Village.  As I wanted my sons to live the experience with me, I started writing this blog.

Well, it is now four years later and the Sochi Olympics are in full swing, so I thought, why not write a few more pieces for this blog?  Will anyone read it?  Who knows.  Who cares.

I love the Olympic Games and what they stand for.  

So, I'll write some pieces during the Games, so keep this link bookmarked.  Plus, I'll probably write a few pieces for the other blog I watch that one too.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

New URL for the CMC-Canada CEO Blog

I have set up a new blog, for my CMC-Canada CEO blog.  Bookmark or click on the CMC logo to the left of this screen.

This new blog will allow me to customize the discussion and branding to promote CMC-Canada and to keep this Olympic Volunteer blog as is.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Well, I am back in downtown Toronto and am working hard to tie up loose ends from my time away.  I had a couple of meetings with CMA Ontario today, as we continue to work hard on our strategic alliance.

Even though I was away in Vancouver, I was able to keep up with CMC-Canada activities and work.  I had the great opportunity to meet with CMC's in BC's interior (Kelowna), on Vancouver Island (Victoria) and in the lower mainland (Vancouver).  It is so important to get feedback and understand member needs from across the country.

As well, I appreciate the hospitality of Western Management Consultants in Vancouver as thanks to Gerry Humphries, I was able to access an office so I could have the proper environment...conducive to work.

But, I am back in Toronto and am having a hard time remembering the Games and the beautiful city of Vancouver.  The good news, is that I will be out west again in May, with the CMC-Canada National Board.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Beginning of Something New

Hard to believe but my blog has been popular.  This was originally intended as a way of sharing my experiences with my sons.  When CMC-Canada heard about it, they thought our members might find it interesting.  Then the Richard Ivey School of Business added it to their Olympic blog site.

Bascially, all I did was share my experiences and my thoughts on Vancouver's Games, from the perspective of a volunteer.  A funny thing happened.  I noticed we had readers from farther afield.  Then, we received a call from CBC TV and then, one from Macleans magazine.

As a result, I plan to keep this blog going but the topic will evolve, from the Games, to my thoughts and experiences as the CEO of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.
I hope this blog will morph into a source for information and a important communication vehicle for our members and firms in our industry.

From today, I will begin posting on issues for management consultants.

Thank you for reading and visiting the Olympic blog.  You are invited and encouraged to keep reading, even if you are not a CMC-Canada member.

For the new readers, welcome.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Memories of the Games

If you are like me and don't want the Games to end, check out these video links....great memories....
1)  "I Believe / J'Imagine" video - images of Canada's medal winners with a duet of the anglo/franco versions of the CTV/TSN music:
2)  Stephen Brunt's video essay on the impact of the Games:
3)  "Olympic Dreamin' in the Digital Lounge" by CTV's Matt Wells - a song with highlights of Canada's Vancouver Olympians:

4)  NBC's Tom Brokaw introducing Canada to the American viewers - this is a lump in your throat video that will make Canadians proud:
5)  "You Gotta Be Here" video - produced by Tourism BC - HD version - this is an unbelieveable montage of views of BC hosted by some famous British Columbians - don't watch it unless you want to visit/move to BC:

6)  "With Glowing Hearts" video - released prior to the Games, to generate enthusiasm in Canada for the Olympics:
7) "I Believe" video - released prior to the Games, supporting the torch relay:
   a)  English version sung by Nikki Yanovsky:
   b)  French version sung by Annie Villeneuve:
8)  "O Canada" video - by McDonalds, the official restaurant of the Games - generating enthusiasm for the Games - nice patriotic video:
9)  "We Were Made for This" video - by Hudsons Bay Company, the official clothier of the Games:
10)  Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Win video - listen to Jacques Rogge announce the winning city in 2003:
11)  Vancouver 1970 Olympic Bid video - December 2009 CBC report on the failed 1970 bid: 

Back to Reality and Thank You

I'm enroute back to Ontario on the red-eye following the 17 day party called the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. What a dose of reality.

But oh what a climax to the party. It almost seems like a dream - G14, the gold medal hockey game, with the storybook ending and then, the surreal closing ceremonies.

No matter what the foreign press writes, don't believe it. These were wonderful games.

Why? In the end, it was all about the people. Welcoming and friendly. It seemed that the old Canadian quiet, conservative stereotype was disposed of and we became an openly proud nation. I have never seen so many hockey jerseys worn 7/24. I have never heard the national anthem sung spontaneously. I have never felt the warmth of people like Vancouverites have shown in a big city.

Speaking of people, I have to comment on the hospitality of my friends, Rob and Kathy Stewart. While we have been friends for more than 20 years, you never know how things will go over a four week visit. Four weeks could challenge even the strongest of friendships.

The Stewarts were wonderful hosts, who along with their extended family made me feel like I belonged.

I have to make a special comment about Kathy. Yesterday, she made the ultimate sacrifice. She gave up her closing ceremonies ticket and urged me to take it. Imagine, a once in a lifetime event and she felt that Rob and I should celebrate our passion for the Olympics, our Vancouver 2010 journey and our friendship, with the closing ceremonies.

Unbelieveable. Generous. What can I say but thank you Kathy. Thank you Stewarts. Thank you VANOC. Thank you Canada.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Music Legends to Close

Neil Young, Alanis Morrissette, Avril Lavigne, Michael Buble, Simple Plan and Hedley all helped to close the Games.

In an entertaining finish, the Olympic flag was passed to Sochi, the flame was extinguished and Jacques Rogge called the Games "excellent and friendly".

What a party for the past 17 days. What a finish - from Alex Bilodeau to Team Canada (hockey), we were mezmorized with our flag and nation.

Canada! Vancouver! Atta boy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location:BC Place