Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

The Paralympics: Challenging Social Media to Respond Where Traditional Media Fails Athletes with Disabilities

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 2:14 am on Friday, March 12, 2010

Paralympic Games countdown clock in downtown VancouverThe Olympic Winter Games may be over, but the Paralympics are just beginning!

(Yes, it’s still winter even though the trees are already in full bloom. Gotta love winter in Vancouver!)

Even though the Paralympic celebrations are significantly scaled back from the pandemonium seen during the Olympics, there’s still much to see. The final day of the Paralympic Torch Relay began with the lighting of the community cauldron at Robson Square, kicking off a 24-hour torch relay around downtown Vancouver.

Darrell and I were at Robson Square for the beginning of the 24-hour relay and I captured these videos. Please forgive me for not captioning them; my left thumb would be a month at that task.

The first is the lighting of the cauldron with the background story of the flame. (Watch the journalist who tries standing up in front!)

(Note: It’s now 2am and this video still won’t upload to YouTube for some unknown yet annoying reason. I’ll try again later tomorrow.)

The second video is The Canadian Wheelchair Dance Academy performing Open Happiness. (Seeing Monica from elementary school was definitely a surprise!)

In addition to the torch relay, a short list of Olympic pavilions are also staying open for the Paralympics, including the very popular Robson Square zipline. (I wonder how accessible that attraction is. ) Here’s your chance to check out these attractions without the long lineups!

For those who prefer enjoying sports from the comforts of your own couch, you’ll need to only watch 57 hours of televised broadcast by the Canadian consortium led by CTV, unlike the more than 2,200 hours of Olympic coverage. Even the Opening Ceremonies will not be broadcast live, but rather “repackaged Saturday afternoon into a four-hour block with a replay of the first Canada-Italy sledge hockey game.”

The good news is that social media and the internet are picking up where traditional media is failing. Paralympic Sport TV — the Internet TV channel of the International Paralympic Committee — will offer free live broadcasts worldwide via Internet. Huddle around your computer screen to cheer on your favourite Paralympians. Then blog about it, tweet it and facebook it. Let’s make some noise about these Games and well-deserving athletes.

Go Canada go!

Breaking news! Due to criticism, CTV has decided to air the Opening Ceremonies live in Vancouver beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. The rest of the country, however, will have to wait. The show will air nationally on CTV on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time. See what making some noise can accomplish!

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Gold Goes to Surrey and Holland Park!

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 1:55 pm on Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, amidst a wintery downpour, Darrell and I headed back to Surrey’s Celebration Site; this time to meet Mom in line in hopes of getting tickets to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride. We succeeded! We enjoyed!

Thanks to Surrey’s Mayor Diane Watts, our Holland Park will have hosted 21 showings of this Canadian heritage experience during Olympics. Without Mayor Watts extending an invitation to the RCMP Musical Ride, this internationally-recognized piece of Canadian identity would not have been present in the area during the 2010 Winter Games. Go figure!

The RCMP Musical Ride entering the tent arena in Holland Park

Wheelchair seating signAlso praiseworthy are the measures taken to make the entire park accessible to individuals using wheelchairs and walkers. The tent arena, used for the RCMP Musical Ride and the Agility Dog shows, has a wheelchair seating section with plywood sheets covering the ground, preventing wheels from getting bogged down in the thick sand. Sitting in this section, we had an unobstructed view and couldn’t be much closer without being atop the horse, to which I would not have objected!

Rubber tiles covering the ground at Holland ParkThe rest of the park has been covered with rubber tiles – no mucky dirty or grass fields with unexpected dips to navigate. The hard surface makes for easy wheeling!

Raised viewing platform for people in wheelchairsRaised platforms – both in front of the main stage and inside Surrey House – provide wheelchair users with an improved vantage point for enjoying the many performances.

Overall, I am very impressed with our Holland Park and the work put forth by the City of Surrey in organizing and hosting this 13-day event, giving Surrey and Fraser Valley residents an alternative to dealing with the crowds in downtown Vancouver to celebrate the Olympics and Canada’s outstanding athletes!

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What is Your Olympic Soundtrack?

Filed under: Motivation,Vancouver Winter Games — by at 11:35 pm on Monday, February 22, 2010

Wow, what an incredible night for Canada! Figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir made history by winning the first ever gold medal in ice dance for Canada, for North America!

I held my breath during their amazing program; more nervous than they were. Watching them skate their flawless performance, I wondered what music kept them motivated on their journey to the Olympic Gold? Which songs repeatedly got them out of bed and kept them practicing when their bodies didn’t want to go any further?

I then thought of the songs that keep me going, striving for my gold. and came up with this list:

1. Never Give Up On Dream by my fav Rod Stewart

2. John Parr’s St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)

3. Tina Turner’s Simply the Best – who isn’t reenergized after this one?!

4. Whitney Houston’s One Moment in Time

5. Peter O’Toole’s The Impossible Dream (The video’s audio isn’t the greatest quality.)

Which songs keep you striving for your Olympic gold – whatever that may be? What is your Olympic soundtrack?

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Saturday Afternoon Went to the Dogs

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 12:39 am on Sunday, February 21, 2010

Holland Park with Central City Tower in the backgroundSaturday afternoon – yet another beautiful day during the first ever Spring Olympics! – found us back at Holland Park. This time we went to see the Kee-Gigg K9 Agility Team.

I shot this rough video to share the experience with you, my readers. These dogs (and their owners) were definitely having fun!

Jamica food booth at Surrey's Celebration SiteWe then grabbed a quick bite at the Jamaican food booth; Jamaican patties are flat meat pies with a spicy kick! Good though.

We headed home before the expected 20,000 arrived for the evening concert. I’m impressed with our small park in Whalley!

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An Evening at Surrey’s Olympic Celebration Site

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 1:56 am on Thursday, February 18, 2010

Holland Park's entranceWednesday afternoon – a spring-like day here on the west coast, not unusual for this time of year – I ditched watching Oprah in exchange for going back to Holland Park, currently Surrey’s Olympic Celebration Site, with my husband Darrell.

I’m loving being able to capture moments, from my eye level. I haven’t used a stock image for a blog post since my hubby gave me a Nikon Coolpix for Christmas ‘08. Me, a photojournalist – who would have thought it? But, that’s what blogging is all about!

The entrance to Surrey 2010 Celebration SiteUnlike LiveCity Downtown on Saturday, there was no lineup to wait in. Darrell and I wheeled right on through.

Long row of portable toiletsThe first noteworthy sight was the long row of pot-a-potties, including two wheelchair accessible ones. These facilities aren’t the most pleasant to use, unless absolutely necessary, then they’re such an relieving experience!

The food vendor kiosks at Holland ParkThe Surrey site has a winter carnival atmosphere, complete with cotton candy, pizza and hot dogs. The mini doughnuts were calling me! I’m still munching while I type, which means I’m twice as long on the bike while watching Oprah tomorrow. Oh well. We live once, so live it!

Inside the horse stable of the RCMP Musical RideUnfortunately, tickets for the evening’s RCMP Musical Ride were already gone. However, the horse stable was open to the public. I introduce my current scooter to the inside of a barn! It has been a while since I’ve seen tack boxes, mucking outs and horse blankets. Seeing the city kids holding their noses was quite amusing; such woosies! I even got horse goober on my coat – yes!

I’d be ecstatic if the barn and the riding arena became permanent fixtures of Holland Park as an Olympic Legacy! Imagine being to ride again only five or six blocks from home. That would be so cool!

Outdoor rink at Holland ParkAn outdoor ice rink allows for some good old-fashioned family fun time! Kids, young and old, don skates for the first time is entertaining to watch.

Clear night sky with thin sliver of moonA clear day meant a clear night sky. I captured the moon for the first time. A beautiful sliver of the moon.

Interior of Surrey HouseInside Surrey House is where I’ll likely be should Canada play in the men’s hockey gold medal game on the 28th! Hockey and Randy Bachman – it doesn’t get any more Canadian than that!

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