MIDDLE MUSQUODOBOIT: It was an opening ceremonies of Olympic proportions at Musquodoboit Valley Education Centre in Middle Musquodoboit on Feb. 21.
Students from Musquodoboit Valley Education Centre; Upper Musquodoboit Consolidated; and Dutch Settlement Elementary School will be competing as teams such as Japan, Finland, Norway, etc. during the Winter Olympics.
They will be participating in sports such—with uniqueness because most of the sports will be done indoors and the current weather climate of the province.
As part of the opening ceremonies, the athletes heard an inspiring speech from Shubenacadie Olympian Tracy Cameron (Stuart), who won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics in women’s Lightweight double sculls.
“I remember when I watched the Olympics for the first time and me and my brother would reenact the sports in our backyard,” said Cameron. “Whatever was happening that day on TV, and much like you guys will be doing over the next several weeks, if there was javelin, we would do softball throws. If there was running on, we would run around the house and time our selves.
“We were fortunate enough to have a swimming pool in our backyard, so the swimming events were easy to do.”
She said she always dreamed of being an Olympian one day. She was “enamoured” from the first time when she watched them. She also spoke of playing sports, and then being cut in Grade 7 from the basketball team and being devastated.
“It didn’t stop me from continuing to try,” said Cameron, who had her husband and two young daughters with her in the crowd for the event.
Cameron said she wanted to play basketball at the Olympics—little did she know, her journey and dream would take another route. That route involved racing on the water.
“I saw a Learn to Row sign-up, and then they called me and away I went,” she said. “The first week of the program, and the feel of the oars I knew I had found the sport that was going to take me to the Olympics.”
She said rowing allowed her to travel the world and make new friends from New Zealand; Finland; and Australia, just to name a few.
Cameron spoke of the morning of the bronze medal victory for Canada at the Olympics.
“All of the athletic moments in my life had led me to this moment,” she said. “It was my moment to show the world what we as a team were capable of. It was the only race in my life where I felt it wasn’t me doing it, it was everybody with me.”
She told the kids that they get to live in their moment over the next few weeks.
“I want you to bring that excitement and feeling to life right here and in your school,” said Cameron. “Cheer for each other and enjoy every moment.”
The closing ceremonies where the medalists will be announced will be held in May at MVEC.