Sendero Group Travel Blog

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Sunday, March 14, 2010


2nd day at the Paralympics for the Presidential delegation

Decked out in USA sweaters, vests, hats and scarves, the US Presidential delegation first set out for the Paralympic Village for Curling and Sledge Hockey, located in Vancouver. Our tour guide was none other than Rick Hansen, one of the most famous athletes from Canada, Mayor of the Olympic village and extraordinary person. Rick was very proud of the environmental platinum rating for the village. All the facilities were world class not to mention the stunning view.

Mike and Jennifer at the sledge hockey game
Sledge Hockey teams
Group at the Sledge hockey game

Sledge hockey game
Sledge hockey game
Sledge Hockey team USA

We met with some of the members of the US Sledge Hockey team. Their average age is 23, 7 years younger than the next oldest Canadian team. Their star is rising and they hope to obtain a gold after several more games, the first of which we will see this evening.

Less than two hours since we had breakfast, we enjoyed the athlete's cafeteria although none of them were yet around.

From there, our motorcade traveled to the Curling arena. It is an unusual sport to understand but it is high on strategy and finesse. I enjoyed the crowd noise definitely led by the Canadians and Japanese. There were 4 games going on simultaneously. The fledgling US team was down to the Germans 4 to 2 but ended up winning 6 to 5. It was fun to learn about.

Curling event
curling event

Before leaving for a short break at our hotel, we had more food in the VIP lounge and watched the USA slalom races on television. Young Caitlin fell and we didn't see the other two visually impaired skiers race. A sit skier named Stephanie took a silver for the USA.

The sledge hockey match was a blast, loud, crazy and fun. The US guys beat the Czechs 3 to 0. We had a chance to congratulate the guys we had met earlier in the day. I loved being able to feel the sledge they scoot around in and their hockey stick. It is normal on one end and the pushing end has prongs on it. They have to quickly switch back and forth.

the delegation group in front of the living wall
We wrapped up the evening and our delegation visit with a dinner. It was an amazing treat to have become close to a wide variety of people in such a short time, all drawn together by mutual inspiration and by what we experienced with the Paralympic athletes.

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