Register Friday | March 23 | 2018

Farewell from Torino!

Being here is so much about the experience.

(Ed. Note. Well, I apologise on behalf of the magazine for having caused any alarm. It seems that the entire crisis was manufactured by none other than Donald S. Thompson himself. As you will read below, Donald is alive and well, having resurfaced in Turin, Italy, of all places. While I am relieved that no harm has come to my writer, I am a little miffed at having been fooled, and certainly at the wasted resources of sending an intern all the way up north (the expense of the flight at any rate, it's not like we pay our interns or anything). The accident involving Gary Krevice was just that: an accident. The reason Donald's book was open to Mr. Krevice's information was that Donald had heard the news and was looking for a number where he could reach Gary's family. Donald left early in the morning on a charter flight for Montreal, and then flew to Rome and then up to Turin. So, with all that resolved, I will leave the last word to Donald.)

Well, friends, I sure got you all good, didn't I? I wanted to end this off with something special, so I arranged with some friends to get me over here to Italia and get a look, real up-close and personal-like, at the closing ceremonies. If you watched it on TV, you might have seen me dancing with the clowns to the YMCA.

What an exciting last couple of days it has been. I was humbled to actually be here, and to see Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen win medals in the speedskating yesterday. I even got to meet the young ladies, last night, at a little party the Canadians hosted in the Olympic Village. I have a newfound respect for these people. Not because of how hard they worked to get here. I may be an old coot, but I'm no fool. I used to be a pretty mean bobsledder myself, remember? I know what it takes to be an athlete. What I was worried about before I came here, and what was bothering me about the Olympics, was all this money being spent to win medals, and all this pressure to win, win, win. I figured, well, yeah, if we're gonna spend all this money, yeah, you better win. But I was torn. I also thought it was important to have fun. These kids know how to do both. They are appreciative of the money and they deserve it. They are so happy to be doing what they love.

When they handed the Olympic flag over to Vancouver, it feel good to be Canadian, eh? Those native fellas looked great, the mayor of Vancouver's got his flag locked into his wheelchair, they did a little circus dance thing, a group from Montreal, actually-it's like a Canada show! Amazing that a guy in a wheelchair can be mayor. I mean, it just goes to show you. In fact, I'm going to be staying here for the next couple of weeks so I can catch the Paralympics from March 10th to 19th. That's amazing. No egos on those people. They know what it means to work, and they know how to appreciate everything they've got. Funny thing is, they don't get nearly as much exposure (or money) as the able-bodied athletes do. Certainly not as much TV coverage.

If I hadn't been backstage with her beforehand, I would have thought Avril Lavigne was that Alanis Morissette singer. She sure sounded like her. But I met her before the closing ceremonies, so I knew who she was. Nice kid. She's cleaned up. She told me she used to wear all kinds of dark make-up and such, but she had to look "respectable" for this.

Anyway, I've got to run. Being here is so much about the experience. It's hard to talk about it or write about when you are actually here. I tell you one thing, when it comes to Vancouver next time, be there, because there is nothing like this, any place.

So long, and thanks for reading.

Donald S. Thompson