I was fortunate to get to go to the Canadian Olympic Committee’s press conference officially announcing the 2012 Olympic Marathon team in Guelph this morning. It was wonderful to see a huge turnout, and I was particularly happy about the enthusiasm from the students who attended from a local elementary school. I mean, sure, they got them well warmed up before the event began, but they were really excited.
After all the “official stuff” was done, they had the team lead the kids for a couple of quick laps around the gym, then they could get autographs and photos before the media were allowed to monopolize the athletes. Let me tell you, there were some kids who were smart enough to have brought notebooks and autograph books, but the ones who hadn’t weren’t leaving without an autograph. Some had the team sign the little paper Canadian flags they had been waving throughout the event; some had them sign their hats. But my favourites were the kid who had them sign his Bart Simpson doll’s t-shirt, and the multiple kids who had them sign their faces and arms – I am not kidding!
Of course, I wasn’t much different. I couldn’t get near Reid or Eric, but I managed to take advantage of the fact that Barb and Arnold from Mizuno, Dylan’s sponsor, had some stuff they needed to give him by sticking close and being all nonchalant*.
*Okay, not that nonchalant. I believe I introduced myself as “one of those jerk reporters who was bothering you after Scotiabank.” I have to give him a lot of credit. For that interview, I talked to him on the phone on October 21, so five days after the race, and he was just super.