Sunshine and Excitement in the City

February 19, 2010 by  

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Gorgeous Vancouver day today! The sun is out, the sky is clear, the mountains seem closer to the city than ever and the views are spectacular. The weather has brought out lots of strollers into the streets of the Athletes’ Village. You realize how spectacular this city is when the weather is nice!

We are half way through the Games and the time is flying by. The energy in the city is electric. There are people everywhere with Go Canada on clothing, on signs and flags, on cars and trucks, in store windows, and reflected in their conversation. People are talking to each other everywhere – on the streets, in the sky train, waiting at stoplights, even in the grocery store. Locals are helping visitors to get to where they want to go, offering suggestions of great things to do, asking volunteers what work they are doing, where they are from, why they chose to volunteer and what it is like.

In the Polyclinic the same excitement permeates. We have been fortunate that we haven’t had to treat anyone with any serious illnesses or injuries. Most of the work has been proactive, therapy as prevention or treatment of minor injuries, dental care, mouth guards, and optometry, a little bit of flu, coughs and colds. The most serious treatment was a cardioversion – electrotherapy for atrial fibrillation – more of a chronic condition than an emergency.

Some of the athletes are chatty when they come in. Others are quiet and thoughtful. It’s important to respect their feelings – whether they want to talk or not – and especially to honour their right to confidentiality about their health and welfare. A couple have said they were disappointed in their performance in the event – they didn’t do well, were disqualified or fell, or didn’t perform as well as they had hoped. Some have already gone home, either because they were finished their events and something was pressing at home, or because they have been “sent ” home. I’m not sure what happens there!

How difficult it must be to train for years for something that lasts only minutes and can make or break the next stage of their lives! How much leadership and courage it must take sometimes to keep going!

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