Tonight was the ever so sad Students Live wrap up party. It was so great to see everybody again, and it was a celebration of our work, but it was sad that we knew this was the end. I know with the technology we have today, that all 23 of us will have no problem staying in touch, and with the relationships we've made throughout the journey, I have no doubt we will.
This post is for Christina, Audrey, Chris and Gary. These four individuals were the heart and soul, the brains behind the program, and I owe them so much. There is nothing I could do to repay them for the experiences they left me with. All I can say is a massive thank you! If you look back to my first blog post, and then my latest ones, the improvement in my writing is unreal. I now actually enjoy writing and don't think of it as a chore anymore. Throughout the 2010 Games, I learned so many life skills; I learned how to communicate with random strangers, how to make good first impressions, and how to use public transit; that I will take with me forever. I have learned to not be timid, and get out there and talk to people you might not normally, just step outside my comfort zone and be willing to learn and discover new things.
In our very first Students Live meeting, Chris said to us "Whatever you put into the program is what you will get out." Those words were so powerful to me, and I have lived with them ever since. I no longer try to slip by, putting in as little effort as possible. I've realized that I have the power to learn as much as I want to. Without these four amazing people, this would not have happened. The amount of effort and energy they gave to us was incredible. If you want to hear an example of the dedication; it was 7am on a Saturday morning, there was a bunch of us sitting in McDonalds after our CTV interview. We really wanted to get into the media centre, so were calling people frantically to let us in. Audrey was most likely still in bed when we called, but she hopped out of bed, and was downtown in no time to let us into the Media Centre. This was 7am on a Saturday. Now that is selflessness, and this is not the only example. The generosity shown in these mentors was unbelievable.
Now for an example of the energy they gave us; we were up in Whistler one day watching some Alpine Skiing. It was an ugly day, it was freezing cold and pouring rain. Lauren and I, stood under our hoods, hoping for the rain to let up a little, but Christina stood there in high spirit the whole time. Not once did I feel like she wasn't enjoying herself, and it really helped me forget the rain and enjoy my day. Even through the rain and cold, Christina was determined for us to get an interview with our Canadian athletes, and was willing to wait with us, until that happened. There is an example of a passionate person. I really owe these four amazing individuals a huge thank you! You've changed my life; sounds cheesy, but it's true!
Walking into the BCELC offices today, I had Déjà vu from when I walked in that same office for the very first meeting. Except that first meeting was nervousness and this was more excited to see everyone but sad that this was the end. I would never have thought walking into the office that day, that 5 months from then, I would have 22 life-long friends. Aside from making these amazing friends, we've taught each other a great deal. Every night I would come home and read the other students' blogs, I would learn from them, and improve my writing based on theirs. I guess you could call it friendly competition, in that we all wanted to be the best writers and get the most hits on our blogs. So thank you to all of you Students Live members too, you've shaped me!
I am so glad and so thankful that I got to take part in the 2010 Winter Games, that I was able to embrace them and take as much out of them as I possible could. I need to thank my teachers for being so good about all the school I missed, I need to thank my friends and family for putting up with my lack of sleep, I need to thank my parents for the countless rides to the seabus, and the random strangers of Vancouver who helped me find my way around the city, I need to thank the athletes for their inspiration, the volunteers for all their hard work and dedication, and for anyone else; every single Canadian citizen contributed to the best Olympic Games I have ever attended, and what was said to have been the best Winter Games in history.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions to my once-in-a-lifetime experience! The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, and Students Live are forever in my heart.