My Experience as an Athlete at a Multi-Sport Competition, 2003 Canada Winter Games
With the Pan Am Games right in our backyard and with our Oakville Physio Lisa volunteering it brings me back down memory lane to my experience participating in a multi-sport competition:
In the winter of 2003, I was selected to represent British Columbia at the 2003 Canada Winter Games in Bathurst-Campbellton, New Brunswick in the sport of Biathlon. Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with either 2 or 4 bouts of target shooting a .22 rifle. Although the sport has gained popularity and recognition in the past few years, it was fairly unknown back then. When I qualified for the Canada Winter Games I was only fifteen, but raced in an age category with 17-19 year olds in order to qualify. I was one of the youngest in the sport racing at the games, and therefore had fairly low expectations on how I would place. Although I had competed at the 2002 B.C. Winter Games, the Canada Games were a huge accomplishment for me and my first taste at a high level multi sport event.
Physios, ATs, RMTs Oh MY!
For some of the athletes competing at the Toronto Pan Am Games, this might be their first high level multi sport competition and a first look into all that comes with a big event like this. For me, the Canada Winter Games were the first time I experienced having medical staff like Physiotherapists, Athletic Therapists and Massage Therapists on site. I had never been to Physiotherapy before, but having someone perform stretches on me or do some soft tissue work through a tight area was amazing! I was able to recover faster with the help of the Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists. This was my first experience with Physiotherapy and it definitely sparked my interest at a young age! Physio isn’t only to help with injuries but to also help with recovery and injury prevention.
At the games, I was randomly selected to be drug tested. This was the first time I had ever been drug tested and I was bit nervous. I was ushered into a tent the morning of one of the races where they drew a sample of blood and asked me to pee in a cup. I was a bit scared because it all seemed so official, but I passed!
One of the really fun parts of the Games was staying in the Athlete’s Village. They had temporarily set-up mobile homes lined up in rows just for the two week duration of the games. It was interesting to see all the other athletes and some of their pre-competition rituals. From the boxers that were jogging in a sweat suit in the sauna to the synchronized swimmers with their strict coaching and identical waterproof makeup, every sport seemed to be very different. I met a number of athletes from other provinces and sports as people tried to trade their provincial pins, hats and even jackets with other provinces as memorabilia at the end of the games. Sidney Crosby was also an athlete at the 2003 Canada Winter Games, too bad our paths never crossed!
Claire Corbett – Works as a Physiotherapist at North Oakville’s Palermo Physio and Wellness Centre.