Canada’s Olympic athletes have been in an intensive training session this weekend in Vancouver, but it has nothing to do with how fast they can skate our how high they can jump.
This is a training session to get them ready for everything outside of their respective events.
The session, put together by the Canadian Olympic Committee, is a way for current and past Olympians to sit down and talk about what it’s like to represent your country at one of the world’s most prestigious sport events.
The list of athletes who are present is long and impressive.
Patrick Chan, Alex Bilodeau, Kaillie Humphries and Erik Guay are all present, along with a large number of young faces like snowboarder Spencer O’Brien and freestyle skier Kaya Turski.
Freestyle skier Justine Dufour-Lapointe told Peter Akman of CBC Sports that “this event is for helping us get used to what is an Olympic Games, to not be surprised when we arrive for that.”
‘Share my experience’
Alexandre Bilodeau knows all about the pressure of an Olympic Games. In Vancouver, the freestyle skier won gold in the men’s moguls – the first Canadian to win gold on his home turf.
Ever since, he’s been under constant scrutiny and forced to learn how to deal with immense pressure.
Bilodeau said he’s at the meetings to “share my experience that went well in Vancouver, how I managed to be ready on that course, what was I thinking, to say what didn’t work in my experience.”
The hope is that the experiences he relates to other athletes will help prepare them deal with the pressure of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.