Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 4!

I'm checking in from the NWT Mission Staff Office desk since the internet at the hotel isn't fast enough to be able to post from.  The last few days have been long - 7am until about midnight.  We've got some downtime during the day between events but it's been pretty busy!  I feel like I'm cheating if I'm not in the office or watching sports whenever possible.

The opening ceremonies went really well!  From an athlete's perspective, it went really well!  We didn't have to wait too long in the holding area before heading out on to the field, the host provided snacks and drinks while we were waiting and the busses were fairly well organized.  The ceremonies themselves were great.  Short and sweet!  A good mix of the required speeches from government officials and cultural entertainment.  There were musicians, and dancers and a bit of a circus act where these guys were falling off a building onto trampolines and doing some crazy tricks.  I definitely felt like a huge phoney walking out though since I'm not competing.  TSN was broadcasting the ceremonies so all of our athletes were really pumped to try to get their 15 minutes of fame on TV.

Our teams officially started competing Yesterday.  Ours Men's Basketball team played Nova Scotia yesterday and Ontario today.  The boys were happy with how they played.  It's tough because we're a small territory with our players spread across a large region so we definitely have a hard time competing with teams that have the opportunity to play together regularly, and teams that have hundreds of kids to choose from when selecting their team.  The Swim team all swam personal best times!  Events were men's 800m free ( one athlete took 30 seconds off his pb which is HUGE!) and the 4X200m relay for both men and women.  The girls took 20 seconds off their personal best time and one of the guys broke a NT record for his 200m.  The same athlete also made an A final in 50m breast stroke tonight.  So far so good!

I've been loving being back in the sport world! I've missed being around sport in any capacity.  Definitely a downfall to living in Hay River.  I've had a chance to explore Sherbrooke a bit too, which I must admit has quickly become one of my favourite cities! My navigation skills leave something to be desired so I've taken a lot of wrong turns trying to find different venues.  I've had a solid driving buddy though so our wrong turns have mostly just ended up in awesome adventures.

On day two, our attempt at finding a baseball diamond out of town lead us to this huge suspension bridge that we had a chance to check out.  We ended up going on a mini half hour hike and adventure walk!  On the same trip, we stumbled upon the Laiterie de Coaticook which is this awesome creamery that makes ice cream on site, but it also is part ice cream museum.  I never turn down a chance to eat ice cream and we definitely stopped here.  Delicious!  It's on the list to go back to before I leave Sherbrooke.
View From the Suspension Bridge

Being part of Team NWT has been awesome.  I have my own hotel room and own rental vehicle provided by the team which allows a lot of freedom to check out all the venues and different sports.  The Canada Games experience has definitely been enriched by having the opportunity to explore the city in addition to just the venues.  On every corner there's a pub, a rooftop patio, a microbrewery or a little hole in the wall restaurant that can't be passed up.  I've had some delicious beer and great food so far and I have a list of a few places still left to visit before I head back up North.  Definitely loving life on this trip! Watching sports, good company (new friends!), great food, cold beer on patios at the end of the day and stumbling upon adventures at every wrong turn.

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