Follow my journey as a Students Live reporter through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Pray to the Snow Gods
I was a little disappointed to hear about the closing of Mt. Seymour, my local mountain. This closure was due to an obvious lack of snow and poor weather conditions. It has definitely not been the best season for Vancouver ski hills, but I was still enjoying my time on the mountain. Having a seasons pass and only being up the mountain three times is a little sad. This closure, however, is temporary, and will hopefully re-open soon when the conditions improve. But Cypress Mountain is in a different situation, it is now officially closed to public until after the Olympic Games. Cypress staff and VANOC agreed that it was the best thing for the Winter Games which are just around the corner. Stockpiling snow at higher elevations is one way that they have been taking extra precautions; to make sure we will be good for the 2010 Games. West Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain is hosting the moguls, parallel giant slalom, halfpipe, and ski cross (which is making its Olympic debut in 2010.) Closing the mountain was the responsible thing to do, in order to make sure we are ready to host the best athletes from all over the globe. And now that they have closed the hill 2 and a half weeks before expected VANOC can start preparing for the Games early. On their to-do list is fencing, the installation of warming tents, way finding signs and “Look of the Games” banners around the venue. Although Cypress only has a mere 175 centimetre base of snow. They are hoping we will get a dump or two of snow before the Games begin. And at the moment Whistler Mountain is looking like it will be in fine conditions. Keep your fingers crossed, and pray to the weather gods!
Paralympic athlete of the Day: Sonja Gaudet is a member of the four person wheelchair curling team. Alongside Sonja is Ina Forrest,
Jim Armstrong at skip and Darryl Neighbour. Canada's coach Wendy Morgan confirmed that there would be two males, and two females on the team. Sonja Gaudet of Vernon, B.C. was born on July 22, 1966. The world-class curler is a Paraplegic and this is how she explains the accident “Without even knowing or remembering exactly how things happened – I found myself in the hospital being told that I had sustained a spinal cord injury after my horse reared up and fell over backwards with me still on him!” A huge part of Sonja's life prior to the accident was athletics, and she was not going to let the misfortune stop her. She then learned how to ski, play tennis and basketball, swim, and bike. And eventually, she was introduced to the brand new sport of curling, where she qualified for the National Team, and even won a gold at the 2006 Torino Olympics! She is a great leader and ambassador for the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion Event which raises money and awareness for spinal cord research. Sonja has a huge passion for sports and curling, but Sonja is a wife and mother of two kids and she says her family’s health and happiness is number one!
“I try to keep in mind that there is always a positive side to everything and everybody – as hard as that is to find sometimes – its worth searching for!” -Sonja Gaudet