Canadians have waited for 7 years since Vancouver was awarded the Olympics. I can only claim to have counted the days since last spring when President Obama nominated me to go to Canada. In the White House my attendance at the Winter Olympics was the source of several jokes about my athletic abilities and perhaps a little envy. And when the White House Press Office released my name as part of the Official Delegation a week ago, the jokes began anew. None of that has dissuaded me from being very excited to spend the next 17 days in Vancouver and Whistler.
After getting home late last night from Montreal we had to complete the most complex packing job imaginable. Try stuffing 2 ½ weeks of clothes in a suitcase that will get you through fancy dinner parties, standing on mountains watching skiing, warm clothes for Whistler, rain clothes for Vancouver, clothes for meetings with dignitaries from around the world, hockey games, and whatever you are supposed to wear to opening and closing ceremonies.
We then got up at 5 am to finish packing and to get to the airport. When we arrived we ran into a group of friends who were on our plane including former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his wife Aline, British High Commissioner Anthony Carey, Netherlands Ambassador Wim Geerts, and Australian High Commissioner Justin Brown, his wife Caroline and their adorable 1 ½ year old son.
We have events today and tonight until 11 pm Vancouver time (2 am back in Ottawa). Hope I brought the right clothes. Time for a nap!