Pounder's Perspective – Thursday, February 6

First … a dream. 

A young girl watched the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, looked at her grandma with wide eyes and a heart full of hope and said, “I’m going to be there one day.”  It would take almost 20 years to land on Olympic soil, a journey that was driven by her grandma’s response: “If that is what you want, believe in yourself and give it everything you’ve got.  You will never know unless you try.”  That little girl was me! 

First … a dream.

Almost 20 years later, in 2002 (and later 2006), I linked arms with my teammates at the mouth of the Olympic Stadium. There was so much energy in the building, I felt like it was swaying back and forth. It was that same energy that had jumped out of the television and ignited my dream. My hair was standing on end, and I was on the brink of tears with an overwhelming sense of Canadian pride. All I could think about was sitting on the couch with my grandma, when I looked at her so many years ago and said, “Grams, I’m going to be there one day.”  Then, I heard the word that I had dreamt about for almost two decades – CANADA!

First … a dream.

The Olympic spirit is infectious and unites communities. It goes well beyond sport and tugs on the heart strings of people from all different cultures, ages and walks of life. It tells us to work harder and believe in our potential. For two weeks, we are emotionally connected and inspired. How many times will our hair stand on end after a heart wrenching performance? How many times will we tell our children to get up when they fall?  

First … a dream.

I will never forget the feeling of pulling the Canadian jersey over my head. Each and every time it was a privilege and an honour. Many of my former teammates are embarking on their Olympic journey. These ladies have worked tirelessly to hone their craft for themselves, each other, and our country. Tomorrow, Hayley Wickenheiser will lead Canada and her teammates into the Opening Ceremony in Sochi. Although their shoulders may be heavy with expectation, this will be a moment full of smiles, tears, and an unbelievable sense of pride. Live your moment ladies; Canada is proud of you!

First … a dream.

Thanks, Grandma!

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