Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The next step - the Paralympics experience March 2, 2010

As the Paralympics are a different governing body the logos are different for each set of games -

Here you see the velcro patches that are used on the front of the Jacket - I will put the one on the right on my jacket.

This is the patch that you put on the back of the jacket to cover the Olympic rings - they are attached via grommets.

Even the day packs are changeable - there is a flap on the front that is removed to give you the Paralympic logo.

Now that the Winter Games are over the City's focus turns to the Paralympic Games - some 1300 athletes from over 40 countries will be competing in five events - sledge hockey and wheelchair curling in Vancouver and Alpine Skiing, Cross country and biathlon at Whistler.

This is where my full involvement with the Games occurs as I will be heading up to Whistler later in the week to take up residence in the Athletes village to fulfill my role as an assistant to the Slovakian delegation - there are six of us attached this team - a 3 - 3 gender split and a 3 - 3 I can speak Slovak split - two of the group will commute from Vancouver daily and supplement our work.

Three of us are retired and three are still working - of the three who speak Slovak - two fled as kids in 1968 when the then Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Russians.

Our accommodation is modest - two to a room and two rooms sharing a bathroom - as we will be working different shifts it could be interesting to see how this works out - we get two meals provided - breakfast and either lunch or supper depending on our shifts - there is free bus shuttle into the town proper so eating won't be a problem.

There is free wireless available and one computer but I will be bringing my net book mostly to upload my photos but I do hope to post to this blog each day relating my experiences.

There is also free laundry so that reduced the amount of clothing that I will need to bring and also makes it easier to keep our uniforms clean - just need to mark my name on the clothes so that they don't get mixed up.

I will get one day off in seven but except for a 70th birthday party for a friend from the Y I dont have any need to come down to Vancouver on my days off - this I intend to play by ear as it might depend on the day of the week and the weather.

I also am equipped by a Samsuung Omnia cell phone for use while serving the delegation and keeping in touch with other members of the team - while they don't want us to use them for personal use they also want us to make sure we know how they work so phoning a few friends is okay - they are set up for North American wide long distance and can be use by team members or delegation members.

The Slovak team has around 20 participants in the Games - all at Whistler - we won't know the exact number until we and the team arrive later in the week.

Look for progress reports over the next three weeks.



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