Olympic Inspiration

Opening Ceremony

Olympic Stadium, Beijing 2008 - Opening Ceremony

In my journey to get fit I don’t think there could be a better inspiration than the Olympic Games. I have never been a sports fan in the American sense. I sleep through baseball games, can’t be bothered to figure out the rules of American football, loose track of the puck during Hockey, and can’t keep up with Basketball.

The olympics are different. In the first place there are a huge amount of single self-propelled sports. That is: archery, athletics (and all it includes: Track & field, shot put etc..), canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, gymnastics, pentathlon, rowing, swimming, trampoline, triathlon. In addition there are a variety of sports that are otherwise not popularized to the general public that simply spark some fascination.

Olympic inspiration comes from two places for me. First there is the unbelievable dedication that each of our athletes from around the world show to their sport, their bodies and their performance. In most cases they do this with very little monetary compensation, they are usually young, working and simple inspiring figures. The second part of the inspiration for me comes from looking at the actual athletes and realizing that my goals are not that unattainable.

I was born in July and my mother always said I learned how to swim before I learned how to walk. I was a water baby and I remain fascinated by water. If I could find a well paying career that involved swimming all day I just may go for it. As I’ve discovered new water sports they have become part of my inspiration to get my body back in shape. I will be following four events during these olympics: Canoe/Kayak, Diving, Rowing, and, Swimming.

This entry is dedicated to our boating sports. First, let me dig out my patriotism:



Melanie Kok - Single Scull

Melanie Kok - Single Scull

Canada has a long and checkered history in rowing. We win big, or we loose big. I became fascinated with Rowing back in 1996 watching Marnie McBean lead the women’s 8 to gold.

A few years ago Breakfast Television did a spot on the Argonauts Rowing Club in Toronto. I was really excited to find out that I could do rowing just blocks from my house. Then I went on their website and came to the realization that I needed to drop some serious weight to do rowing.

This year Canada’s best hope for women’s rowing gold is the Women’s 8.

26, 60, 145lbs

Sarah Bonikowsk: 26, 6'0", 145lbs

26, 59, 165lbs

Ashley Brzozowicz: 26, 5'9", 165lbs

26, 511, 170lbs

Heather Mandoli: 26, 5'11", 170lbs

29, 60, 161lbs

Darcy Marquardt: 29, 6'0", 161lbs

Womens Eight

Women's Eight

30, 510, 143lbs

Jane Rumball: 30, 5'10", 143lbs

30, 510, 154lbs

Romina Stefancic: 30, 5'10", 154lbs

31, 56, 152lbs (I wonder if she fights vampires?)

Buffy Williams: 31, 5'6", 152lbs (I wonder if she fights vampires?)

49, 52, 99lbs (team coxswain)

Leslie Thompson-Willie: 49, 5'2", 99lbs (team coxswain)

I’m sure there are some more athletically inspiring pictures out there of these women, and I do hope to post some as the olympics continue. For the purpose of inspiration this is the second type of inspiration that I was speaking about. These women look like my friends, the girls I went to university with and my neighbours. They are slightly taller or slightly shorter than I am, and they have realistic attainable weight ranges.

For all the women out there who think they need to be less than 120 lbs at 5’9″ to be “fit” consider the women above. They are our olympic athletes, they have a good shot at winning gold in the 2008 Olympics, they look healthy and fit, and they are all about 140 – 170 lbs.

Romanian Women Edge Out Canadians

None of the other Canadian Women are expected to win, but we do have some expected to place.

Women’s Quad

28, 59, 160lbs - expected to place Top 6

Krista Guloien: 28, 5'9", 160lbs - expected to place Top 6

26, 510, 154lbs - expected to place Top 6

Janie Hansan: 26, 5'10", 154lbs - expected to place Top 6

29, 60, 163lbs - expected to place top 6

Rachelle de Jong: 29, 6'0", 163lbs - expected to place top 6

32, 58, 163 lbs - expected to place top 6

Anna-Marie de Zwager: 32, 5'8", 163 lbs - expected to place top 6

Women’s Pairs

Womens Pair

Women's Pair

27, 60, 165lbs - expect to place top 10

Zoe Hoskins: 27, 6'0", 165lbs - expect to place top 10

28, 58, 169lbs - expected to place top 10

Sabrina Kolker: 28, 5'8", 169lbs - expected to place top 10

Lightweight Double Sculls

Our lightweight women had a weight battle to make their weight before the olympics, lightweights must weigh and average of 125 lbs for the boat with neither partner weighing more than 130 lbs.

Lightweight Double Scull

Lightweight Double Scull

33, 57, 127lbs - small medal hope

Tracy Cameron: 33, 5'7", 127lbs - small medal hope

25, 55, 125lbs - small medal hope

Melanie Kok: 25, 5'5", 125lbs - small medal hope

The Canadian Men are “Rowing for Redemption” following the huge disappointment when they were expected to win gold and finished 5th place a full 9 seconds behind the leading US team.

Canadian Mens Eight Rowing for Redemption

Canadian Men's Eight "Rowing for Redemption"

Canadians take 5th place as US wins first victory in 40-years. Canada, give them another 40!


Sport Yaking

Sport 'Yaking

I went white water rafting for the first time this past July. I was completely mesmerized by the sport kayakers who accompanied us. Our guides were amazing and the sport ‘yakers didn’t need to rescue anyone. They mainly kept us entertained as they did amazing tricks shooting rapids upside down, unbelievable rolls, jumps and surfing standing waves in level 5 rapids! They could look completely serene in the middle of white water, it was truly inspiring.

The big names for Canada to remember in Canoe/Kayak this year are two boys from where I grew up (no, I don’t know them).

Adam van Koeverden, who also was Canada’s Flag bearer in the opening ceremonies, has hopes for Gold in K-1 500 and K-1 1,000.

26, 511, 190lbs - Gold Medal Hopes

Adam van Koeverden: 26, 5'11", 190lbs - Gold Medal Hopes

Mark Oldershaw from Burlington is Canada’s best hope in Canoe in 2008.

25, 61, 207lbs - Medal Contender

Mark Oldershaw: 25, 6'1", 207lbs - Medal Contender

Not to be forgotten, Canada has world class rapids in Quebec and we’ve got a great showing of Quebec women coming out for first runs. The youngest is Genevieve Beauchesne-Sevigny at 22 years old.

Female Sport Yaker

Female Sport 'Yaker

Mylanie Barre - Top six contender, k-2 500

Mylanie Barre - Top six contender, k-2 500

Genevieve Beauchesne-Sevingy - Top six hopeful, k-4 500

Genevieve Beauchesne-Sevigny - Top six hopeful, k-4 500

Sarah Boudens - Top 20 Contender, k-1 Slalom

Sarah Boudens - Top 20 Contender, k-1 Slalom

Emilie Fournel - Top 6 hopeful, k-4 500

Emilie Fournel - Top 6 hopeful, k-4 500

Karen Furneaux - Top 6 contender, k-4 500 - Top 10 contender, k-1 500

Karen Furneaux - Top 6 contender, k-4 500 - Top 10 contender, k-1 500

Kristin Gauthier - Top 6 Contender, k-2 500 & k-4 500

Kristin Gauthier - Top 6 Contender, k-2 500 & k-4 500

All round I’m looking forward to a great Olympics, and seeing Canada and the rest of the world preform.


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2 Responses to “Olympic Inspiration”

  1. RM Says:

    see the videos of the opening ceremony Beijing 2008



  2. Canoeing In Canada Says:

    Canoeing In Canada…

    I enjoyed reading your blog. What a great thing it is to be able to share information like this on the Internet….

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