Thursday, July 26, 2012

Raising of our Flag

Yesterday, along with a large portion of our 277 Canadian Athlete delegation we marched into the village courtyard for our welcome ceremony, as well as the raising of our flag. We stood together and sang the national anthem proudly as our flag was raised. As a Canadian athlete there is no greater feeling then watching your flag raised and belting out our nations anthem 2 days before the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. I know speak for the team when i tell you that it is hard to convey with words the pride we feel to represent our country as 1 of 2 team sports that qualified for Canada in the Olympics. In the last couple days we have been focused on practice, but when we are not at the gym we have been taking in all of the sights of the village. We recently took a picture with the rings that made the front page of The Globe and Mail. We feel very blessed to be recieving recognition for our battle to qualify, and our journey throughout the games. The fans have truly been amazing, and we are gracious for the support we have been getting from back home.
Tomorrow is the day of the opening ceremonies and excitement is in the air. There is much anticipation around "the walk" which is when the athletes will march in to the stadium of the opening ceremonies. For every first time Olympian this is something that is highly regarded, and known to be a breathtaking/life altering moment. Needless to say the entire team is excited for our turn in "the walk".
With our first game just days away we are more than ready to get on the court and show Canada and the world what we've got!
Love from London!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Olympic Village!

Hi everyone,
Checking in from the Olympic Village here!  Let me start by saying we all arrived safely.  We were all a little sleepy on the bus ride from the plane but we soon perked up as the village was in view and we passed by the Olympic Plaza.  We have only been here 3 days and the Village is starting to get busier by the hour.
Little Village info: The dinning hall is massive, open 24hrs a day and has food from four different regions of the world.  Also the BEST place to people watch!  Its funny trying to guess what sport each athlete competes in.  We have noticed that we are a lot taller than most other athletes.  I guess we are used to being around other basketball players so we don't notice how much taller we are.

We have used the weight room a couple times and it is very nice.  Might get a little crowded once more people show up but as of now no complaints.

Food around the village is plenty full.  There are little booths set up with specialties from, Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland as well places you can pick up sandwiches and salads if you don't want to walk to the dinning hall.  Oh and we can't forget the fruit smoothie people who ride around on bikes offering us smoothies!

There is the plaza area that has a "pub" which serves a great variety of coca cola products.  Also has pool tables, giant connect four, giant lawn chess, giant jenga and foosball!  A few computers and other tablets to use as well as couches and lawn chairs to hangout on.  Also located at the plaza is a very large internet cafe, stores, the official Olympic boutique store, and a salon.  Yep thats right we can go get our hair done, a facial, mini manicure whatever our hearts desire.

The CANADIAN part of the village is awesome.  They have absolutely thought of everything to make our stay here comfortable so we can concentrate on our competitions.  Little cold tubes set up for us, a cardio and weight room, a wellness area to do yoga and stretch.  The best part is the athlete services room.  Yep a place for only athletes to go, no coaches!!!  We can go play Wii, watch movies, hangout and lets not forget the snacks they have available for us.  Our team is staying in two of the town homes which are three stores each.  Only down fall is there are 2 washrooms for 8 of us to share.  We have a nice little patio area where we have been hanging out getting treatment and enjoying this awesome weather.

Can't comment on the gym yet as we have only seen the practice facility.  Hopefully we will get some pictures up for you shortly.  Everything is a little surreal and hard to describe.  We are very much enjoying ourselves but more importantly we have had a couple great practices and are still working hard to get better and be as prepared as we can.

I suggest if you have any specific questions go ahead and comment on the blog and we will try get back to you when we can.

Thats about all for now!
Go Canada!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Solid practice this morning, our 5th in a row!  The bodies are a little sore and tired which is probably a good thing since it slows us down a little.  We execute much better the second or third day into camp.
On to the exciting things today... we got to head to Nike town and pick out a pair of shoes.  Pretty cool.  These Olympic perks keep on coming!
After the shopping spree we were off to the Spice Route in downtown Toronto for a lovely send off party with family and friends.  We ate some great food and got a chance to visit with our family and friends in the area.  Also got to check out the crazy bathrooms at this restaurant.  Apparently they have won awards.  In all the stalls there is a giant window facing a little garden area with water features.  The whole area is closed so nobody can walk around and see you but still a little unsettling the first time you go in.
We were all pretty fired up leaving the social.  We were given 3 scrapbooks of well wishes from all of our amazing fans.  Thanks!
Tomorrow evening we are LONDON BOUND!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We Did it!!

Wow, after a 12 year absence from the Olympic Games, we are back in the biggest sporting event in the world....The Olympic Games!  After all our hard work and sacrifice, as a team and a program, we are very proud to represent our nation in London.  Going into the Olympic Games, we know that we are going to be playing against the best teams in the world.  Our schedule for London, is as follows:

July 28th @ 11:15am vs. Russia
July 30th @ 8:00 pm vs. Great Britian
Aug 1st @ 9:00 am vs. France
Aug 3 rd @ 2:30 pm vs. Brazil
Aug 5th @ 2:30 pm vs Australia    (all times are London times)

We are currently in our last phase of preparation in Toronto, training at the ACC.  We are extremely greatful to have the opportunity to train and stay at such extraordinary facilities.  We are training hard and fine tuning.  We are thankful for all the media coverage that we are receiving.  We are proud to be role models for young girls aspiring to follow their dreams and hopefully play for Canada at the Olympic Games one day.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quarterfinals - Win and We're In !!

Well, the moment we have been training for and preparing for since October and for the last 4 years, is here! Tomorrow we play Croatia in the quarterfinals and if we win…we’re in!!! We watched a very good Croatian team execute against Korea yesterday and we know what we have to do to beat them tomorrow. The last couple days we have been practicing and resting up. We had a great shoot-around practice this morning on the main court. Just trying to find the sweet spot and get friendly with the rims since they have not been forgiving so far! Then we had a little break and went back to practice on the training court later today. It is so exciting to be in this position to be able to qualify. So exciting, that it is hard to sleep! But we can sleep after we get the job done. It is going to be war tomorrow and we're ready to battle!!
Thank-you for continuing to support our team! It goes a long way and we couldn’t do any of this without our family, friends, and fans. Going to make you all proud!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tough one, but onto Qtr Finals!

Tough loss tonight to France but there are some positives to take away from tonight's 56-47 loss. We came out and executed the game plan to perfection but unfortunely we did not shoot the ball very well. We played very well defensively and got shots where we wanted but the ball just couldn't go in the hoop. So now we have a few days off before the quarter finals!! We are so grateful to be in the position to get one step closer to our Olympic goal. We will play either Croatia or Korea and we will go watch that match up tomorrow afternoon. We don't care who we play we just need to focus on us, being ready and the rest will take care of itself. Onward and upward! Until next time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

FINALLY! (Game 1 vs Mali)

On October 2nd of last year, after our loss against Argentina at the FIBA Americas qualification tournament in Columbia, June 25th, 2012 seemed a lifetime away. We waited 9 months for our redemption. We played through our overseas seasons and home training to get to our second chance. We pushed through various injuries, personal trials, and logistal issues to start afresh. We made it to June 25th to claim our spot in the London 2012 Olympics! It seemed like a lifetime, yet we made it. That was the common mindset going into the game against Mali tonight: "FINALLY!" And it felt good. The beginning of the game was a little slow, but we brought the energy, picked it up on defense and started to play our game. Our main objective of the game became to execute and ready ourself for our games to come over the next few days. The final score was 89-23; a strong decisive win and a great note to start on. Now, on to our next opponent, France!