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Memories for a lifetime ... final blog

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This is my final blog of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic experience and I am writing it on the plane journey home.As the rest of the passengers’ sleep, I find myself in darkness and unable to relax.I am still filled with adrenaline and reflecting on what was an utterly amazing experience over the last three weeks.I have opened my laptop and the bright light of the screen is willing me to capture a few final thoughts for you all and for my memories.
The Olympics as a supervisor When I retired from refereeing I didn’t think anything would top my gold medal experience in Sochi.I was wrong.Being part of the Olympic as a supervisor is so much more rewarding than I ever thought possible.I feel privileged for the opportunity and humbled to have played a small role in supporting others to live their Olympic dream.
Many of the officials at this Olympics were my peers.I officiated with them previously, I was part of their team and they were and are still my friends.It made my job as a supervisor toug…

Figure Skating versus Ice Hockey

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In the Johnston family there is an on-going discussion about what is better – ice hockey or figure skating.Kate and Lisa (my sister in laws) have both figure skated, and my husband, Scott, and his brother Steve both played hockey, while my brother in law Brad is the biggest hockey fan on the planet.I guess I sit on the hockey side of that argument, however it is difficult not to have admiration and respect for the other sport.
I’ve always wanted to see the figure skating at an Olympics, but the tickets are difficult to get and some of the prices for the finals have been in excess of $1,000USD (as much as the gold medal game for the ice hockey).Earlier in the week, Kim managed to get us some tickets for the finals of the pairs ice dance.We went along with Marta who is a Council Member for the IIHF.I have to say that it lived up to the hype and expectation, and if I didn’t admire the sport before, I certainly do now.




The skaters execute the most challenging and difficult moves on the ice,…

Emotions running high as women's ice hockey tournament comes to an end ...

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As the final few days of the Olympics was approaching, the women’s ice hockey tournament was also coming to an end.The culmination of four years hard work was upon us and emotions were running high for everyone involved.
United Korea score their first goal A moment that will stay with me forever is sitting in the arena when the Korean Women’s team scored their first goal at the Olympics.The crowd erupted, and the building was filled with excitement.The crowd have been unwavering in their support for the Korean team.The team have been down by several goals, but by watching the level of support from the crowd you would never know.The home crowd have been cheering them on relentlessly.To the local crowd, the team are superstars and winners regardless of the on-ice score.The goal was significant not just because it was the first goal scored by the Korean women’s ice hockey team at an Olympics … but because of what it represented and the composition of the team who scored it.This is a united…

Enjoying the different cultures of the Olympics ...

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I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I enjoy the most about being at the Olympics is being exposed to the culture of the country hosting the games.Additionally, at an Olympics there is also the opportunity to get a flavour of the culture of the different countries participating.
We have finally experienced a Korean BBQ and also had the chance to visit some of the Olympic hospitality houses that are sponsored and run by the various participating countries.
Real Korean BBQ After a number of false starts in terms of finding meat (or even just any food to eat in the evenings), we finally got to experience a Korean BBQ.
I had the recommendation from the ice technicians and the business card for the restaurant and so the supervisor team planned for a dinner one evening.I spoke with our hosts at the arena and they called the restaurant to make a reservation for us.They then also wrote a note for us so when we arrived at the restaurant they would know we had a reservation.It felt a bit li…

Preparing for finals ...

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The last few days have been filled with emotion and “Olympic moments”.As the Olympics enter the final week, we move into the final stages for the women’s tournament.For some teams the dream of an Olympic medal is over, and they are playing in classification games.For other teams, all is left to play for…
Moving to the men’s arena for the semi-finals and the gold medal game The semi-finals and the Gold Medal Game for the women’s tournament are scheduled to be played in the men’s arena – the Gangneung Hockey Centre at the Olympic Park.This is part of a directive from the International Olympic Committee because these games are classified as prime events.As prime events the games need to be played in the larger arena, so more people can attend.However, outside of the International Olympic Committee, there is also a desire for the women’s games to be given parity with the men’s games and so the move to the larger arena for these games is well supported across the female hockey community.
The …