You’re Awesome in a Wheelchair Josh!

“Follow your dreams and you will discover your true potential.” Josh Dueck

I haven’t met Josh yet.  I know people who know him because I live in Vernon and he is a local Vernonite.  I saw locals buying “Go Josh Go” tee shirts around town and I was curious.  People were really stoked about Josh’s run for medals at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics.  They weren’t disappointed when Josh captured a silver medal yesterday in his first of four events.  Way to go Josh!!

In fact about 50 people from Kimberly, his home town, and from Vernon, where he lives now, stayed to cheer him on even through three steady hours of afternoon snow and after at least half of the crowd of 4,000 had called it quits, they were still there when their sit-skiing hero earned a surprise silver medal. Dueck said it was “huge” to feel the crowd’s energy. “I put a little bit in my back pocket just for those moments when I needed it.”

Josh learned to ski at thirteen and dreamed of becoming a professional skier.  He made the B.C. freestyle team, working to qualify for Canada’s national development team.

The financial demands of competition led Josh to coaching and sharing his passion for sport as head coach of the Silver Star Freestyle Ski Club in Vernon. It was then that the dream crash-landed.

Preparing students for the 2004 Canadian junior nationals, Josh was too fast on a demonstration jump. “Intuition said stop, but my ego made me go,” he remembers.

Overshooting the landing hill, he dropped 100 feet and completely smashed his body —breaking his back and flipping his world upside-down. Bent in an impossible direction, the spine was severed. At 23, Josh was paralyzed from the waist down.

Josh’s focus, dedication and commitment are so incredibly inspiring.  All the athletes competing in the Paralympics truly demonstrate to the world that the human Spirit is so much greater than our physical selves.  Congratulations to everyone competing and thank you for inspiring all of us.

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Another Golden Moment For Canada!

Last night from our usual Olympic venue seats…our couch at home…my husband and I leapt up and cheered “YES!” as soon as Virtue and Moir finished their beautiful ice dance. We knew right away that they had the gold.  I must say here that I am getting very good at judging these competitions.  I gave the Russians a score of 101 and guess what their score was? 101! So if you need another judge, I’m available.  I’m just sayin’.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Ontario captured Canada’s fifth gold medal of the Vancouver Olympics last night, winning the figure skating ice dance in spectacular fashion.  They performed to Mahler’s Symphony number 5 at the Pacific Coliseum. It was breathtakingly beautiful to watch.  They nailed everything from lifts to steps. The crowd went wild and threw flowers, teddy bears and even the coveted Olympic red mittens onto the ice when they finished.  What a moment!

They began skating in 1997, she was 7 and he was 9.  This is the part of the story that has me fascinated.  They are only 20 and 22 now.  They are both so young and yet they have already been skating together for over 10 years.    I know it’s none of my business but I can’t help but be super curious about whether there have been any romantic feelings between them.  Was she his first crush or vice versa? When they were in the midst of those turbulent teenage years, hormones raging, was there an attraction?  Oh I know, it’s all beside the point.  The point is they skate absolutely beautifully together.  But still I can’t help wonder when they look at each other so tenderly if it is part of the dance or…

Regardless of any off ice relationship they have or may not have, the whole country is so proud of the performance these two young skaters gave for Canada last night and for the way they carry themselves.  Way to go Tessa and Scott!

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Let the ‘2010’ Games Begin ~

2010 Olympic Games are Here!

Vancouver has been waiting 6 years to step up and Host The 2010 Olympic Games’ and today’s the day! Do You Believe? I attended the Torch Ceremony in my community with both my kids, one at my side watching and one singing her little heart out as the Torch arrived! The entertainment was enjoyed by over ten thousand waving red Canadian flags all excited to be a part of the Olympic dream! My Whoo-hoo days are far from over! If you’re not a supporter of the Olympic Games being held here in Vancouver, it’s too late, they’re here, so you may as well just sit back and embrace them for what they are, a celebration that captures the spirit of our Community, Province, Country and that of the Athlete!

Vancouver has been given a face lift and is ready to go with the downtown core buzzing with excitement. The anticipation is building while the City of Vancouver waits for the Olympic Torch to arrive at BC Place Stadium for the Opening Ceremonies to Officially start the Games! If we’re excited you can imagine the rush of adrenaline pumping through the veins of the athletes who are ready to compete for the Gold Medal in their event!

It’s what these elite athletes train for, it’s their dream coming to a reality right before their eyes and ours! We get to share this dream from the sidelines while providing support and encouragement where we can. The Best of the best are here in Vancouver, competing for the ultimate prize, to stand on the Victory Podium to receive their hard earned Gold, Silver or Bronze metal! One thing they do all have in common is that each and everyone of them are proud to be representing their Country in this historical event! Go Canada Go!

This is a great video to get you into the ‘Spirit of Believing’ ~

As Premier National Partner of the 2010 Winter Games and a long-time supporter of the arts, Bell is bringing together Canada’s top talent in the fields of both sport and culture to produce ‘Believe (Olympic Inspired Version)’, a one-of-a-kind music video and audio track that will raise funds for Canada’s winter athletes and chronicle their extraordinary journey on the road to 2010. Suzie McNeil ‘s song “Believe” was originally recorded and released on her debut CD, Broken & Beautiful. The Olympic inspired video for Believe was recorded with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and released on September 17, 2007. Here are the lyrics to this beautiful song.

Believe Lyrics:

One minute’s fading
One minute’s passed
But I’ve got this moment
To make it all last
And I’m standing before you
Taking my chance on everything
I never thought that I could be
Cause you can do almost anything

Chorus:
If you just Believe
You can move mountains with dreams
The higher you climb
The better it gets
Cause you will see things
You’ll never forget
If you just Believe

It’s like I’m falling
Through my own fears
They used to haunt me
But now they’re not here
There’s no looking back
My future is clear no giving up
And I’m holding on when it gets rough
Cause you can get through most anything

Chorus

No one says it’s easy
And no one says you have to be perfect
But as long as you try
You’re always gonna find it was worth it

Chorus

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What Are We Celebrating Again?

Bonnie's PostThis weekend, here in Canada, we are all enjoying a long weekend, but why exactly?

Canadians began celebrating Victoria Day back in 1834. Then Queen, Queen Victoria’s birthday, thirty three years before Canada was even formed as a country!    Victoria Day is always the last Monday before the 24th of May and is a statutory holiday for all of Canada.  It’s really supposed to represent the celebration of our reining sovereign’s birthday and not just Queen Victoria’s.  I guess “Reigning Sovereign’s Birthday Day” was too awkward to say so they kept it as Victoria Day.  Even Quebec takes the holiday, although they recently dedicated the same day as “National Patriots Day” and celebrate the holiday under that name as well.  Gotta be different!

Many of us in Canada call it the “May Long” or “May two four” which really means we must remember to pick up the case of 24 beers for the weekend.  I’ll get into some interesting facts about Queen Victoria in a minute but first what the holiday actually means to most of us here in Canada.

It is the first long weekend of many that fall when the weather is good…usually…we are talking about Canada after all.  For those of us that garden it is the first weekend that you can safely plant without the fear of frost…usually…we are talking about Canada after all.  It serves as an unofficial marker to the end of winter and thus the beginning of the summer social calendar.  Places like Banff, Alberta’s Sunshine Village ends its lengthy ski season on Victoria Day.  It is during this long weekend that many summer businesses – such as parks, outdoor restaurants, bicycle rentals, city tour operators, etc. – will open. Victoria Day is also a mark of the beginning of the cottage season.  And for all of this I just want to say “YAY”!!!snoopyhappydog

Ok, back to Queen Victoria who started this whole thing.  Here are a few interesting tidbits to impress your friends with while cracking into your two-four case.

  • Queen Victoria was of almost entirely German descent
  • She arranged marriages for her nine children and forty-two grandchildren across the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe
  • The Victorian era represented the height of the Industrial Revolution, a period of significant social, economic, and technological progress in the United Kingdom.
  • She married her first cousin, Prince Albert.  MmmHmm.
  • There were 5 assassination attempts on her life, but one that shouldn’t really count because the guys gun was only loaded with paper and tobacco (what was he thinking)
  • After her husbands death she caused a stir by her close relationship with her manservant, John Brown.  There are speculations that she even married him secretly. In 2008 it was discovered that her body wore John Browns mother’s wedding ring which was placed on Victoria’s finger after her death.  MmmHmm.210px-queen_victoria_-golden_jubilee_-3a_cropped

Have a terrific weekend everyone!
Bonnie

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Happy St.Paddy’s Day!

Irish CloverHappy St. Patrick’s Day!  I know most of the parades happened on Sunday but today is officially St.Patrick’s Day.  I have a little of the Irish blood coursing through me veins and I love it!  What other day of the year can you drink green beer?

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Ireland remains a deeply religious country, with the two main denominations being “us” and “them”. In the unlikely event you are asked which group you belong to, the correct answer is: “I’m an atheist, thank God”.

Danny Boy” can make me cry because it is sung at every family funeral that I’ve ever attended.

Did you know that 10% of the population of Canada is of Irish Descent.  That’s 3.3 million people who will be wearing something green today!

Here is my Irish story:

My grandmother on my mothers side was Margaret Corry.  There were six Margarets in her class one year and so from that day forward she was called “Corry” instead.
Some years ago, her brother, Art Corry, went to Ireland to try to trace our heritage.  He was able to follow our lineage quite far (please don’t ask for details because I can’t find the paper work right now), and discovered The Corry Castle.  Cool! We have a castle in Ireland!  Well, we don’t anymore actually.  It seems that my great great great something or other liked to gamble but wasn’t very good apparently because he wagered the castle…and lost.  The people who lived in the Corry castle were very nice though and let my great uncle come in and have a look around.  They knew the story of the card game.  I’ve heard that the castle has been torn down now.  I would have liked to have visited it myself one day.  Visiting Ireland is definitely on my “bucket list”.

And so here’s an Irish toast to ye:

Leprechaun

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.

And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you on St Patrick’s Day.

Bonnie

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