Arriving in London

There’s a song that often comes to mind when I’m boarding a plane: John Denver’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’. But unlike the lyrics in the song, I know when I’ll be back again – on August 14th and hopefully wearing a medal around my neck.

It’s always fun to arrive at the airport with the nervous excitement of travel and the fear that your bag might be overweight.  Yesterday was no different.  The day was filled with goodbyes, well wishes and last minute errands before leaving.  When I arrived at the airport, I was informed that I was upgraded to business class… YES!

The luxury of business class might seem indulgent but the benefit of the extra room makes a huge difference on my knees and muscles. As an amateur athlete, it’s often out of my budget so when it was generously offered by one of my sponsors, I jumped at it. Thanks, Steve.

The challenge for all athletes as we prepare for the flight is ensuring proper hydration and avoiding germs at all costs.  The risk of sickness is already higher when living in closer quarters with thousands of athletes in the Olympic Village that we are instructed to avoid handshakes, hugs or kisses and to ensure that we’re aware of everything that we’re eating.

Photo By MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

The flight was only delayed for 12 minutes and uneventful – I’m thankful for that. The Air Canada crew was excited by the number of athletes on board and we had the opportunity to meet and greet the Captain and First Officer. Thank you Air Canada for a great ride to London!

Heathrow was busy – as usual – and we were running a little late. We walked off the plane and claimed our bags and could already feel the anticipation and excitement. The reality of the OLYMPICS really set in when we  touched down in London. The city is full of the Olympic spirit. From the customs officers, the airport greeters, the banners and artwork, everything is London 2012.  Even though this wasn’t my first time at Heathrow, everything just felt new.

During the Olympics, the Canadian athletes, their coaches and families have access to the Canada House in Trafalgar square as a place to watch the events, cheer on their fellow Canadians and socialize with other Canadians. Hopefully I can pay a visit during my time in London.

More tomorrow on the Olympic Village, our accommodations and food!