From what happens when an athlete doesn't make it through to the finals, to meeting Olympic moms, to a small tourist-y moment.
Day two in Rio started early: We left the hotel at 7:30am to make it to Lagoa Stadium, where Mark Oldershaw was competing in the men's canoe single 1000m, Adam van Koeverden was competing in the men's kayak single 1000m and K.C. Fraser and Genevieve Orton were competing in the women's kayak double 500m. Though all of our athletes made it to the semi-finals of their events, none advanced to the finals. But, that didn't change how exciting it was to sit in the stands at Lagoa Stadium and cheer for Canada. (Read: try to be louder than the group of Brits behind us and the Portuguese fans off to the left…)
It's pretty amazing to see Canadians medal, of course, but there's also something very cool about see the integrity, teamwork and honour of all the athletes. In fact, a less than ideal moment—Adam van Koeverden finishing sixth in his race—actually lead to one of my highlights of the day. Read on to find out what else made the list.
1. Adam van Koeverden's post-race interview
After Adam's disappointing sixth-place finish, he gave possibly the classiest interview ever to the CBC. We were there while he was competing and it really was very close until the last few seconds, which makes the loss even more gut wrenching, I think. But I didn't see Adam's emotional interview until we were checking out Canada Olympic House, where it was being broadcast in the lounge. I was really struck by his honesty, class and obvious passion for his sport. Combined with his powerful blog post on sexism at the Olympics, it's obvious he's not just a good kayaker; he's a good person, too.
2. Meeting some Canadian Olympic families
I got to spend some time with the families and friends of a few big names today, including Rosie MacLennan, Andre De Grasse and Mark Oldershaw. Rosie's mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law and niece were all in town to support her; it was awesome to hear them talk about supporting Rosie's Olympic dreams, but it was especially interesting to hear her mom, Jane's, take on what raising an superstar athlete really requires, from time and encouragement to, well, cash. It really made me wonder how many other potential Rosies might be out there, talented but lacking in resources.
I also met Beverley De Grasse, Andre's mom, a former high school sprinter from Trinidad who's super-cool. Our group joked that she was quickly becoming a star in her own right, especially after this great photo (below) of her and Andre post-race.
Credits: David Jackson
And, we got to watch Mark Oldershaw's events today with his wife, Annamay (in red shorts), baby daughter, Josephine and mom, Connie-Lee (in black pants and white tee), who will luckily have another chance to cheer Mark on when he competes in the 200m sprint on August 17.
3. Interview two-time gold medalist Rosie MacLennan
I also did my first Facebook Live ever today, interviewing two-time gold medalist Rosie MacLennan, who was friendly, candid and very patient with our technical difficulties. Check out our interview here. (Please excuse the pixelated video, and make sure you stick around until the end, when Rosie and I discuss a vitally important topic: snacks.)
4. Seeing the famous Christ the Redeemer statue (sort of)
I've been playing “spot the statue” since I arrived in Rio, but it was hard to get a good shot of this iconic monument last night. Luckily, Lagoa Stadium offered a pretty stunning, if far, view of J.C. Hopefully I'll get a closer view soon. Stay tuned!