Climate change has caused increasing amounts and intensity of forest fires in British Columbia and Washington State. This day we were experiencing smoke in the Okanagan Valley from Winthrop in Washington State, way down in the Cascade’s as we would say….
On this day 50 years ago I entered this world on a night that was so stormy in Vancouver that electricity was knocked out through much of the city and phone lines were down in North Vancouver. It was in the very early hours at Lions Gate Hospital, so I’m told, that my mother delivered me. Truthfully, she’s the person who deserves the congrats not me, and her and my Dad deserve a great many thanks for encouraging me to participate in sports. As a child I was taught to ski by my second birthday and since my parents were ski instructors at Mt. Baker in Washington State, I grew up “ski racing crazy”, so it was especially enjoyable for me to watch the various skiing events taking place on the slopes where I used to race.
To say that I’m thankful for the 50 years of life (btw: I’m 49 years old today) is grossly understated. I’ve enjoyed the most marvelous lifestyle so far and it’s about to get even better. What a blessing to have spent so many days every winter, for the first half of my life, up in the mountain pursuing my own gold medals. Sure I’ve had my fair share of bad days too, everyone has got to, or we’d never recognize the good one’s but all things considered I’m content with my lot in life, I like who I’ve become and don’t regret the decisions I’ve made, although on blazing hot days in Brazil (like today) I sometimes miss the snow-covered mountains of British Columbia.
Love is the key to a good life. Luck and love may have something to do with my own level of happiness but just like the famous quote: “The harder I work, the luckier I get” (either Gary Player or Samuel Goldwyn said that) when applied to my life, relates to the understanding that the more I learn to love life and the people in it, I luckier I get with love in return. In case you’re wondering; I think I’ve been very, very lucky in love and life and consider myself very fortunate just to have been born and raised in Canada.
Vancouver Winter Olympics, from my perspective, as seen from the comfort of my home in Brazil, exemplifies everything that is wonderful and decent about Western Canada for the manifestation of the Olympic spirit. Peace on earth and goodwill towards mankind and may the best competitor win! Let the world bear witness that there is only one love, no-matter how many interpretations and expressions of beauty there may be for athletic perfection, in the end it’s all about harmony and forgetting our differences to work together for the common good of sport, to make something bigger and better than the sum total of all our parts and purposes. The people of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver have done an excellent job hosting the Winter Olympics and made us proud to be Canadian, even if we don’t win enough Gold medals.