An unscripted glimpse at the Canadian Equestrian Team's athletes, supporters & fans before, during and after major games. #CanadaStrong

Archive for July, 2012

All Systems Go!

Wow! I’m not off to a good start on my pledge to blog every day while on the ground. But in my defense, we’ve been having a terrible time with internet connection at the hotel.

But onwards and upwards!

Tina and I arrived into Heathrow early Friday morning, July 20th, along with Eventing Team Manager Fleur Tipton. Unfortunately I didn’t get any sleep on the plane, which meant for a verrrrrry long day on Friday. But thankfully the flight was very smooth and quiet, and I finally was able to watch “The Hunger Games”.

Heathrow was actually pretty quiet when we arrived. We immediately were greeted by a LOCOG volunteer who escorted us to passport control. It was also very quiet there, and the Olympic Family lane was empty – woohoo! So it only took a few minutes to get our passports stamped and become legal. Next stop was the Accreditation Desk where it was……yup, empty! So I was able to breeze through there. Another volunteer then escorted us to baggage claim where we only had to wait a few minutes before our bags arrived, then walked out to the main hall where we were greeted by our driver Anthony who was holding a Canadian flag sign.

After reading all the media stories on the BBC news website, we were all amazed (and relieved) at how quickly & smoothly the entire process, from stepping off the plane to walking to our LOCOG car, was.

Oh, and did I mention that our car was a shiny black AudiBMW (thanks for the correction Mike!)?



Once we checked into the hotel, the remainder of our first day on the ground was jam-packed. First on deck was meeting with the hotel to confirm all of our Team reservations, making sure that the correct room types were assigned. Have to say, the European hotel system is very confusing indeed for someone who was born & bred in North America! A “double” here means a single double bed, as opposed to 2 double beds. And they don’t offer queen or king beds. So if you want to have 2 people in a room, who aren’t sharing a bed, you need to have either 1 double and 1 twin, or 2 twins. Turns out that one of my reservations for 8 days is a double room……so I’m hopeful that another room type becomes available or Tina and I will be living in even closer quarters for those days!

Our next destination was the Olympic Village, which is a 15 min. ride on the DLR. But first we had to figure out how to get an Oyster card for Tina and Fleur. Actually let me back that up one step…we first had to figure out how to use the Oyster self-serve machine! After a few moments of looking like obvious tourists, a very nice Greenwich town worker took pity on us and helped us with the kiosk.

It was exciting to see the Olympic stadium come into view, and the giant Westfield mall.

The Village itself is absolutely beautiful. There are wonderful lounge areas for the athletes, a HUGE merchandise store, post office, internet cafe, phone services, bank, dining hall etc. And there are really nice landscaped courtyard areas within the apartment buildings, which are beautifully landscaped with quaint little benches.

Of course the highlight is the Canadian residence – what a great decorating job!! Complete with a huge red moose at the entrance. Apparently it’s become a popular tourist spot for many countries who stop by to get their picture taken with the Moose….and try to ride him. Hmmmmm….I wonder if the COC will try to ship him back with our Dressage horses at the end of the Games?


The Olympic Stadium

Almost feels like I’m on a Doctor Who set!

The home of Team Great Britain

The athlete bar/lounge

Giant moveable chess board

Home Sweet Home for Team Canada


Team Leaders’ workroom



Internal Shuttle Bus System


It was great to see the Village, and better yet to get an opportunity to hit the souvenir shop while they still had a great selection.

After getting back to the hotel, it was definitely time to crash after being awake 30+ hours and recharge the batteries for the next day.

….to be continued


Good Luck and Git’er Done

No time to blog fully today…busy trying to get everything done, shopped, cleaned, printed, packed for Thursday lift-off.
I leave you with quite possibly one of the most enthusiastic, funny and downright coolest Canadian athlete ever!

Canadian Olympic Team Gear – Woohoo!

A small glimpse of a day in the life of the Canadian Olympic Committee Mission Staff. 686 bags were organized and packed for EACH Canadian Olympic Team member (athletes and support staff). That included making sure that each bag had the correct size of the Olympic team gear, which is comprised of 26 pieces! (t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, socks, shoes, backpack and of course rain gear). All in a very stylish Team Canada duffel bag.

I can already hear the requests for snagging an extra COC Team backpack (you know who you are!) 🙂

When you see the Canadian Olympic Team swagger in their stylin’ clothes on your tv screens, it is thanks to the hard efforts of the COC’s Outfitting Team!

But still under high secrecy is the outfit for Opening Ceremonies. Could it be a repeat of Beijing? (yikes!)

Special thanks to chef Mark Tewksbury for the photos!

Meet our Canadian Dressage Team!

Our Canadian Dressage Team have been in England since mid June.

Congratulations again to their terrific results at the Hartpury CDI3*

I received an email today from Team Manager Christine Peters to say that herself and chef d’Equipe Gina Smith arrived safely in London today from Ottawa. Team Vet Dr. Geoff Vernon arrives on Monday July 16th. Which is now making me even more anxious than ever to get over there and get ‘stuck in’.

Here are some great photos posted by Diane Creech, Jaqueline Brooks and David Marcus who have been doing a fantastic job keeping everyone updated (and entertained!) on their Facebook pages.

Canadian Olympic Dressage Horses Arrive safely at Stansted Airport

Canadian Olympic Dressage Horses arrive safely at Stansted Airport

Dressage Team at Hartpury just before the jog

Dressage Team at Hartpury just before the jog

Canadian Dressage Team at Hartpury ribbon ceremonies…great results!

Canadian Team Spirit at the Training Camp

Canadian Team Spirit at the Training Camp

Canadian Dressage Athlete Diane Creech

Diane Creech was invited to speak with a Grad 5 Class and answer question about the Olympic Games and what it takes to get there. Diane is now famous in England!

Meet members of our Canadian Jumping Team!

Showing some love for our Canadian Jumping Team.

Their training camp in England starts July 23rd, and they move into the Olympic venue at Greenwich Park on August 1st.

Jill Henselwood

Tiffany Foster

Ian Millar


2012 Canadian Olympic Team - Jumping

2012 Canadian Olympic Team – Jumping
Ian Millar, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze, Jill Henselwood, Yann Candele, Terrance Millar

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