The drive down from Vancouver along the ‘sea to sky’ highway was as amazing as I had heard it was. Driving along you would have thought we were on our way to the Summer Paralympics not the Winter Games! Blue skies and warm!
The drive was beautiful along the coast line looking out over the ocean as we climbed the mountains to reach Whistler. Sitting in amongst some volunteers they gave me some tourist information along the way telling me all about the area and what to expect.
Our first sight of the Athletes Village was the security perimeters- we had reached our final destination for this Paralympic journey.
(Entering the Athletes Village)
A lot smaller than the Beijing Athletes Village but not unlike it in many ways. The large dining hall including McDonald's with a huge range of choices, computer lounges, telephones with free international calls, a huge strength and conditioning area with recovery and plunge facilities, games rooms filled with Wii fits, pool tables, table tennis, pin ball machines, dance machines, guitar hero, pac man, frogger and loads more, and of course the poly clinic- a medical centre which from the outside looks like a big tent with trailers attached, however when inside contains world class medical facilities. This includes CT scans, MRI’s and not to mention the 12 person surgical theatre capable of performing any emergency procedure! You would never think standing inside that you were actually in a huge tent! This would enable any procedure to be performed if there was no access out of the mountains by air or road due to a storm.
Our accommodation is in the perfect position; we are the closest to the gym and the closest to the dining hall!
So far it doesn’t feel like we are at the Paralympic Games it just feels like we are at another competition but happen to have great facilities surrounding us! Tomorrow night is the Opening Ceremony so I think after that it will change!
Also on our arrival we received our uniforms! A mass of clothing which I am happy to report looks great! Our ceremonial gear is very Aussie with RM Williams being our clothing provider and when on snow we will definitely stand out from the rest as our speedsuits are very bright, Apogee our ski gear provider have also provided my personal favourite piece of clothing our white jacket with some green and gold down the arms. It looks great with our blue ski pants and we have had plenty of compliments about that!
(Snuggling in with the Games mascots in my fav jacket)
(At the top of the training course in our new gear)
We also attended the Australian Team Welcoming Ceremony where they officially welcomed us into the Athletes Village and to the Paralympic Games. They played the National Anthem and showcased some traditional dancing.
(At the Welcoming Ceremony with the mascot)
All in all it has been a great start and I am really enjoying being in the village and can’t wait for the Opening Ceremony tomorrow!!!