Paul Seaborn found himself a little homesick as he watched a sea of Canadians clad in red cheering on their athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Seaborn, a Corner Brook native, is enjoying being immersed in his third Olympic Winter Games as a spectator and member of the cheering section for Canada’s two-time Olympic gold medal winning bodsledder Heather Moyse.
Seaborn, who has been a professor at the University of Denver in Colorado since 2011, is married to Prince Edward Island native Heidi Moyse — who just happens to be the younger sister of Heather.
“For us this is a real chance to really let our Canadian pride show because we’re in a different environment at home (in Denver), and especially for our kids to feel that connection to Canada and to cheer on Canada,” Seaborn said from Pyeongchang where he’s been having a blast rubbing shoulders with Canada’s best at Canada House near Olympic Park.
For any of his American friends who expected to see him wearing the American colours he was certainly going to disappoint because he went flat out to dress the part as a proud Canadian and will never forget where home is.
“We’re definitely Canadians living in Denver and there’s no question of where our loyalties lie, especially when it comes to Canada vs USA,” he said.
He watched the Americans put an end to Canada’s dominance in women’s hockey with a dramatic win in overtime stopping Canada from winning a fifth-straight Olympic gold medal.
Seaborn thought it was a great game to watch and he was disappointed with the outcome, especially when it came to one shot and him not being a fan of the shootout, but he knows that’s the way sports goes sometimes so he just looked at is a great experience where his team came up short.
Of course, bobsledding was the main attraction for Seaborn and his group, which also included his wife Heidi, the three boys — Charlie, 11, Samuel, 8 and Chase, 5 — and Heidi’s parents.
Moyse and new teammate, Edmonton’s Alysia Rissling, finished out of medal contention in sixth place with a time of 3:23.63 so the Summerside native missed out on a third gold medal.
Kaillie Humphries of Calgary, the other two-time Olympic gold medal winner who Moyse teamed up with in 2010 and 2014 to win gold, won a bronze medal with Phylicia George of Ontario filling the role of brakeman.
Seaborn watched Moyse make her Olympic debut at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino where she finished fourth. In Italy, she teamed with Helen Upperton.
Four years later, his parents Allan (Tex) and Glynda Seaborn joined them for the journey to Vancouver for the 2010 Games in Vancouver where Moyse and Humphries became household names with those with the Olympic spirit.
Moyse would win her second gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Games but Seaborn had to miss out on this adventure because he had to stay home with his youngest son in Denver.
All three experiences had a different flavour to it, but he was happy to be a part of it all because he never envisioned as a boy growing up that he would get an opportunity to embrace the Olympics like he has because of his connection to an Olympian.
“For somebody growing up in Corner Brook it’s pretty neat,” he said.
For the past few days, Seaborn couldn’t help but feel the energy in the air with all the different countries mixing together and being so friendly, but he didn’t think it had the same national attention the way it did in 2010 in Vancouver when Canada put out the welcome mat for the world.
“A sea of Canadians everywhere you went,” he said of the 2010 Games. “It didn’t matter whether you were at the venue or downtown you had that Olympic fever everywhere.”
Decked out in Canada’s colours, Seaborn and his group plan on cheering on Canadian athletes for the remainder of the trip before catching a flight back to Denver on Saturday.
He plans on watching the two men’s hockey semifinal games and a 1,000-metre speedskating race before heading home.
All he could hope for now is a chance to do it again.
Hey, he’s learned that anything is possible so why not hope for a fourth one.
“It’s pretty surreal. Who would have thought?” he said.