Athletes welcomed in true Canadian style

Canada’s Olympic athletes joined each other for the first time as an official Team at their welcome ceremony Wednesday outside their residence in the athletes’ village. Parading into the square in a sea of red and white, they got a welcome fit for royalty, included street performers on stilts and dancers in bright coloured outfits.

Showing his continued support for athletes in the final days before official Olympic competition was Governor General David Johnston.

“The entire country is behind them and we’re so proud,” Johnston said.

As O’Canada played, athletes sang loudly in both official languages, followed by thunderous cheers.

“I’m on top of the world,” said Martin Reader, a beach volleyball player.  “I’ve been working so long and so hard, this is the best moment of my life.”

His teammate Josh Binstock says the pride he and the other athletes are feeling is amazing.

“You feel the energy, it’s infectious and everyone feeds off it,” he said.

Other dignitaries present included Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut, Minister of State (Sport) Bal Gosal and the Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland Gordon Campbell. They interacted with the athletes and gave them their best wishes for the Games on behalf of all Canadians.

“This is great,” said Table Tennis player Mo Zhang. “I am so proud to be here.”