McGregor Says: With glowing hearts

We are well into the drama of the 2018 Winter Olympics and our feelings are mixed. Our country is winning medal after medal and staying up in the standings but we are struggling in curling and hockey.

It seems like every day we are living that old Wide World of Sports motto, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

We watch new heroes emerge but we would really like to see Sidney Crosby and Carey Price on the bench as we move closer to the finals.

It always seems the Canadian athletes have to compete against our own media as much as do with the other teams. Maybe if they were given as much funding and state sponsorship as the Europeans receive, it might even out the field. But they stay positive, and we are doing well.

My niece is at her third Olympics with the Canadian Women’s Biathlon team, but after qualifying for her first event she came down with the virus that is sneaking around the village. She has missed two of her events but hopes to make the third. For these athletes, a sore throat means quarantine and four years of training can go for naught. But it is a team sport and sacrifices sometimes have to be made.

I recall after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics when I had been so fortunate to run with the torch, we were encouraged to take our torches and running uniforms to elementary schools to inspire young kids to become champions. It’s hard to believe some of those Grade 1 students could well be in training now, eight years later.

I was in one Grade 1 classroom and I passed the torch around so each student could hold it.

I explained about the journey the flame had made from Greece to Vancouver through Langley. The smiles and the oohs and aahs were amazing as each child got to hold the smoke stained torch with the 2010 logo and ‘Vancouver’ clearly showing on the side.

At question time, one student asked if they gave me the torch or did I have to buy it. I told them I had to buy it. The next little girl politely asked how much it cost. “$350,” I told her. Another boy asked if I could light it and show them the flame.

I opened up the casing and showed them the gas canister and the torch nozzle and explained to them that after my run, they had cut the gas lines between the canister and the nozzle so that no other flame than the Olympic flame would ever burn in this torch.

Another little boy blurted out, “You mean they wrecked it and you still paid $350 for it!?”

Not all of the kids are destined to be athletes, one was on his way to being a lawyer.

Sacrifice, hard work, teamwork, inspiration and being positive. The Olympics teach us some valuable lessons for day to day life.

At least that’s what McGregor says.

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