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A letter from an aunty to an Olympian.

Friday evening Marla and I spent Canada Day together. We decided to go through some of my drawers, as we often do when she comes into town, and we stumbled upon some real gems. One of which was a letter that my aunt Janet, my father's sister, wrote to me/my dad after I competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Her delightful spin on the impact of the games is an awesome reminder of the support and foundation I had with me during my athletic career, as well as my life in general! I am so glad I am a tiny bit of a hoarder!

Please enjoy the letter:

First of all, I’d like to congratulate Krista on her achievement of competing at the Olympics. I’d also like to share a few thoughts on how it impacted me.

Some of you may or may not remember Krista as an infant – well, she was the classic “colic-y” baby!!! She basically cried from morning until night and gave Nels and Dawna sleepless nights for months. At that time, Dawna was the Olympian as she walked, rocked, bounced and tried to soothe her. I remember the family taking shifts attending to Krista – most people put their baby in a stroller when they are walking outdoors. With Krista the stroller was used indoors and was in constant motion down the hallways and around the coffee table. But apparently, there was a silver lining: there’s no doubt in my mind that Krista developed extraordinary lung capacity from colic, which we’re now appreciating today!

The wheels of the economy in Smithers certainly felt the spin-off effects of Krista. Prior to the Olympics Tony and I were a couple with an old fashioned TV with rabbit ears perched on a swivel chair. We now have a satellite dish, cable and a high definition TV – we now can see what colour nail polish the athletes are wearing.

Having a niece in the Olympics also tests many academic and physical skills: firstly MATH: converting Beijing time to Smithers time was the first challenge…. next came ENDURANCE: once the math was done, it became apparent that the alarm clock had to go off anywhere from 1:30 am to 3:00 am. I was getting up, staggering downstairs only to find table tennis – no water in sight! I was punch drunk for days. The other skill was LANGUAGE: who knew what a “Repechage” meant before this? Was it a good thing or a bad thing? I eventually consulted my French/English dictionary and got to the bottom of it.

Our family has a number of talented people and over the years I’ve been known to report their achievements to friends. When I told my best friend in Lillooet who has 2 teen-aged sons about my Olympic niece she said, “Did I tell you that Gavin can fart the alphabet”!

Even though I watched from afar, Krista, thank you for giving me the opportunity of sharing in your great achievement. You are truly an inspiration…I’m pretty sure I shaved seconds off vacuuming and doing the laundry!

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