I experienced many very cool moments during my time in Vancouver. This is one of them:
While in line at the Vancouver airport, waiting to check-in for my flight home, I notice a couple join the line just a few people behind me. They stand out, to me, because the woman is carrying a bouquet that looks suspiciously, exactly like the arrangements the athletes are given during the flower ceremonies immediately following the events. The line moves along at a medium pace. I overhear someone ask the couple if they are holding ‘Olympic’ flowers. The woman holding the flowers replies “Yes.” That’s it, no more, no less. Well, thank goodness for curious Canadian travelers. The inquiring mind then asks who they know. It turns out they are the parents of American skier Andrew Weibrecht. He won a bronze medal in the Super G which was held the previous day. His dad has said nothing throughout this whole exchange and actually looks a little irritated but mom, well she is as proud as any parent could ever be and just needed a little bit more of an invitation to get all happy for her son. Her voice is very hoarse from all the screaming and the family, along with many friends and US ski team members enjoyed themselves late into the night. I am enjoying being on the fringe of this happy exchange until…I am caught grinning madly and tearing up a little bit. Okay, I had previously warned you that I am a world class sap. Should there ever be a Sap Olympics, I am there. I was imaging what it would be like to be Mrs. Wiesbrecht, watching her son finish his run and be in medal contention, then be confirmed as a bronze medalist? What a huge well of emotions that must be; huge enough that it spilled over to me and my own sensitive soul! :)
Mama Wiesbrecht sees me smiling at her while wiping the tears of the host-sap and asks me if I want to hold the flowers?? WHA-HA???? Absolutely I do. She hands the bouquet to me and I just stand there looking like, well, I don’t know what I looked like – probably like a gawd-awful snotty, red-faced mess (the women in our family are not pretty criers. I am not telling tales out of school, this is a well know and well documented fact!) but it sure made me happy and, for a moment, full of pride. It made zero difference that the flowers belonged to an American. I think any athlete strong enough to be competing at the Olympics is alright with me! I certainly do not possess the drive, focus and determination it takes to be a world-class athlete so I gladly take this moment to share a tiny piece of Andrew’s success. WOW!!
I wish I had a photo to show you – I don’t. I hope you can appreciate how cool this moment was for me and take a moment to learn a bit about Andrew. His mom is a righteous lady. Oh, and to all the people who have been slagging the bouquets – they are beautiful, unique and made to withstand. Also, they aren’t overly feminine and are certainly handsome enough to be presented to the male medal winners!