Friday, June 29, 2012

Olympic Block Party

Toronto hosted an Olympic Block Party as a send-off to Canada's Olympic team to the 2012 Olympics.

I didn't know what to expect before arriving. I had seen tweets from past Olympians who would be there, but not much from current Olympians. I knew Hedley would be playing, but besides that, I wasn't sure what to expect.

A few hours before the party, I did see a tweet saying that Olympic torch bearers were there. I was especially hoping to see an Olympic torch (and possibly hold one).

Within a couple of minutes of entering the party, the first thing I saw was an Olympic torch. The torch bearer was more than happy to let me hold it, and just like that, my day is made!

My kids also took a turn:

There was a large banner for everyone to write their well-wishes to the athletes:

After signing the banner, a reporter (Chris Hall) asks me questions (more on this later):

Meeting another torch bearer:

PJmixer getting a close-up of the torch:

Writing Cheerios cheer postcards to athletes (just like I did on Opening Ceremonies day in Vancouver in 2010):
The rhythmic gymnastics team poses for a photo (by pjmixer):

2012 Olympians gather on stage:

One last chance to hold an Olympic torch:

Headley takes the stage:

My daughter recognizes swimmer Brittany Maclean, so we ask for a photo. We had watched her emotional experience when her sister qualified for the Olympics at the National Olympic trials.

Mark Tewksbury, Olympic gold medallist and 2012 Chef De Mission gets the crowd cheering:

Brian Stemmle, 3-time Olympian gains younger fans:

Earlier, I mentioned that I was interviewed. Here is what Chris Hall wrote for (you can read the full article here)

A short stone's throw from Ms. Tutty was a large, sprawling white banner emblazoned with Canadian flags and the Olympic rings. A crowd of people, four or five deep, were eagerly waiting, with a marker in hand, to scribble their own well-wishes to Canada's athletes.
With her signature freshly scrawled on the board, Suzanne Sewell walked away and smiled to herself. To say she is an enthusiastic supporter of Canada's athletes would be an understatement.
"The Olympics are every day for me," said the Toronto woman.
She was first bit by the Olympic bug in 1988 and since then has turned the Games from a pastime into a passion.
"I'm here to support the Canadian team and wish them luck. I'll be watching every minute," said Ms. Sewell, who attended the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010.
To prove her passion, Ms. Sewell was asked to name her favourite Canadian athlete.
"Just one," she asked, before listing five.
Ms. Sewell follows the highs and lows of Canada's amateurs day-in and day-out, keeping track of their personal bests and following them on Twitter. She's even got her own Olympic-themed handle: olympichearts.
"I want them all to do well," she said with a smile.
So thankful I went to the block party. What an experience. I felt a little closer to the 2012 Olympics and can't wait for The Games to start!

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