The Olympics...Every Athlete's Dream

Being a part of this grand event is priceless. The most fascinating moments are of course the Games opening ceremony and realizing that I am actually participating in this great spectacle.

Already the drive to Vancouver on that day made me feel as if I was something more, floating above all that. Throughout the city, a special traffic regime (having the right of way also when the traffic light is red) was in force due to our delegation accompanied by the police. Crowds were filling up the stadium; sports teams were gathering; all having one wish - to experience some of the most beautiful and memorable moments.

We watched the first part of the ceremony on television, while we were waiting in a hockey hall nearby and were having fun listening to music performances. Then, the pressure started rising – the representation of countries was up next. Just before entering the stadium, the crowds cheering and welcoming the athletes could be heard. Suddenly, Slovakia, and shortly after, Slovenia is introduced... I march into the stadium. Loud salutations coming from the full spectator stands are filling up my ears... Dumbfounded, step by step, I observe what's happening around me and then… I simply float due to all indescribable feelings. At that moment you are something more, proud to be there. The whole world sees you.

The main part of the opening ceremony followed and each performance was unique. Everyone just observed and wondered with their eyes wide open. The speeches were all touching but the most memorable and emotional sentence was "You are more...".

However, we were all profoundly shocked having learned about the death of a Georgian luger before the Games opening. A minute of silence was dedicated in his honor. At that moment, we all shared our dreams with him...

The end of the ceremony was marked by the lighting of the Olympic cauldron tarnished by a technical error, but that's not important. The Winter Olympics are open, the battle for medals begins!

The drive back to the Olympic Village in Whistler was probably the hardest part of all since we got there only at about one in the morning.
Almost all athletes (except for snowboarders, freestyle skiers and ice skaters) are accommodated in the Olympic Village near Whistler, where special safety protocol is in force. Without the accreditation, it is impossible to go anywhere. Over and over again, when we return from our training or somewhere else, we have to undergo a safety check; just like at airports.

It's a village, where the true Olympic spirit governs. It’s not unusual to meet the world’s best athletes of various sports disciplines or to get the chance to shake hands with Olympic champions.

I mustn’t forget to mention the kind, open-minded Canadians who are prepared to help at any time. Be it volunteers who work here day and night, a bus driver, traffic control officer, security guard or someone who works in a restaurant. Other people in the city as well want to talk to you; they seem to be exceedingly interested in Slovenia and they simply must take a picture with you.

Indeed, the Olympics are something special. They occur only every four years and they are always full of surprises. Anything is possible here. The locals say that the weather these days (quite high temperatures and rain) is not typical of this season since there was always a lot of snow in the past years. Remember when I said that the Olympics are something special? Well, obviously everything around them is of no exception either.

Archive: 2010