Published on March 21, 2014
Olympic skier Dasha Gaiazova signs an autograph for CC Loughlin student Mackenzie Norman. Gaiazova and two other members of Canada's Olympic cross country ski team were in town for the National Cross Country Ski Tournament at Blomidon and stopped by the school to talk about their experiences at the Sochi Winter Olympics last month.
Star Photo by Paul Hutchings
Published on March 21, 2014
Canadian Olympic skiers Brittany Webster, front, Amanda Ammar, middle, and Dasha Gaiazova show the equipment they used in this year’s Winter Olympics to students at C.C. Loughlin during their visit Friday.
— Star photo by Paul Hutchings
Students at C.C. Loughlin got a chance to speak with some real, live Olympians Friday as members of the Canadian Olympic ski team made their first school presentation since returning from the recent Sochi Olympics.
Skiers Dasha Gaiazova, Amanda Ammar and Brittany Webster were in town for the Canadian National Cross Country Ski Championships and were invited by the school to speak with two successive groups of students about their experiences at the Winter Games. They gave a slide presentation of photos they took from the international event, as well as showing off Olympic possessions, such as a numbered bib one of them used in ski touranaments. They also showed medals from the local ski tourament, as well as some of the equipment they use.
The question and answer session at the beginning of one presentation tested the Russian-speaking Gaiazova’s language skills, as the students asked her how to say certain words in Russian. They asked about the competition and being athletes, and commented on some of the slide photos.
The athletes smiled and laughed their way through the visit. They admitted it was just as fun as the actual Olympic event itself.
“This is the best part for me,” said Gaiazova afterward. “There is a special feeling performing in the Olympics for your country, but (events like) this have a special feeling all their own.
Gaiazova said she and her fellow skiers hope they can inspire the students to get into sports and go as far as they can.
“It makes me happy to think that they could be the ones representing Canada in 20 years or so after hearing us speak today,” she said, as she signed autographs afterward.
Students said they enjoyed watching the Olympics and loved having some of those athletes they saw on television in person. Seven-year-old Hanna Callahan said she wants to ski more now.
“I go skiing sometimes but I want to work on it, going more,” she said. “They were really nice and I would like to see them come back.”
Even Pelley, also age 7, said he liked it too.
“The pictures they showed us were really nice, I wish I could go there,” he said. “Everyone likes Canada’s athletes, they’re good to talk to.”
Kids shuffling out after the first presentation stopped to say good-bye to the skiers personally, with smiles on full display.