Off to a great start this past week, and leading into the IOA Session. I flew at 6:45 from Calgary to Montreal and managed to get an upgrade business class, which is rare.
Even more rare though, I found myself in a pod for the long flight from Montreal to Athens. In Montreal, Elise Marcotte and I found each other. Ohenawa was on a different routing through Zurich.
The flight was obviously comfortable, so typically Greek though it was an AC flight as most of the passengers were clearly going home. Flying into the sunrise was amazing - the ridge of light was red, blue, orange, and yellow. Amazing.
Flying into Athens was beautiful because the view of the coast and many islands is crystal clear. The first thought I had seeing the coast was "great, I prefer competing at sea level." Old habits die hard. It's very odd to travel, more-so travel with other athletes, but not wear my competitive hat.
I am in Athens now and tomorrow we will tour, wrapping up the day with an opening ceremony. I think there will be a lot of symbolic ceremonies to follow. Hermas, a Rwandan 400m/800m runner is my room mate. He's quite nice though the language barrier is a bit difficult at times. I've met athletes from all over this evening. Participants are not only Olympians - some are National team athletes, professors, and journalists .... I think. I am still learning the landscape.
Athletes from Estonia, Bulgaria, Mexico, Denmark, St Vincent, France, Croatia, Lithuania, Singapore, Brazil, ... a long list are in the hotel lobby with me now.
No shortage of rumours and speculation as to what lies ahead for us.
Will leave at that for now as not a whole lot to share yet. Very warm reception which I appreciate and I'm quite thankful the COC selected me to take part in this event. There is an energy in the air. J