Forget about pizza, Chinese food, or even chicken wings!
When you are a double Olympic medalist there is nothing like looking forward to a greasy burger, salty fries, and that oh-so-good large root beer.
Snowboarder Meryeta O’Dine returned to the friendly confines of the Prince George Airport Tuesday afternoon where she was greeted with lots of love from her hometown.
Naturally, her proud mom, Virginia was there, but so were other family members, friends, fans, the media, and even a politician or two.
When asked what she’s most looking forward to on her return to P.G., O’Dine was quick with this response:
“I am very excited for some A & W, I’m very excited to see my friends and have some downtime with them.”
“To come home to all of this, it’s just amazing.”
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) February 16, 2022
The 24-year-old O’Dine is in a very select company.
She is among just a handful of Canadian athletes to win two medals at the Beijing Games.
O’Dine wasn’t just satisfied with a bronze in the women’s snowboard cross.
Three days later, she combined with another double medalist, Eliot Grondin of Sainte-Marie, Quebec, for bronze in mixed team snowboard cross.
“There has been a lot of years of ups and downs and it felt really, really cool to be able to stand at that world stage,” stated O’Dine.
Those ups and downs have been well documented.
Four years ago (2018), she was set to make her Winter Olympic debut in Pyeongchang, South Korea but that dream was crushed after suffering the fifth concussion of her career following a crash in practice only a couple of days before she was to compete.
Three years ago (2019), O’Dine’s season ended abruptly after suffering a compression fracture in her spine.
Two years ago (2020), the worst news of all, Meryeta’s older brother Brandon lost his battle with cancer.
“It was a terrible time really. What I did most was talk with my psychologist and talk with my doctor about doing cognitive-behavioral therapy. Taking those steps to not blame yourself but learn what the mental illness is and the symptoms are really about and that takes a lot off of yourself and brings your head around more to what is going on more, ” said O’Dine in an interview with Brendan Pawliw of mypgnow.com.
.@meryetaodine on cloud nine after claiming two bronze medals at the Olympics @TeamCanada @Beijing2022 | #cityofpg https://t.co/r1L4IGJMBm #princegeorgebc #northernbc #Beijing2022WinterOlympics #sports pic.twitter.com/RdRrkgqF4E
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) February 15, 2022
“When you are going through mental illness you question a lot of your purpose and values – like a lot of things that mattered to me never mattered to me before in my life. I switched off the national team because I felt it wasn’t the most understanding environment to be able to express the emotion sometimes because there was so much pressure to perform on the daily basis and sometimes you can’t control it when your mind is in it and you want to be the best athlete but your body is in a completely different world.”
“I feel like a completely different athlete this year. The coach that I went back to is a very trusting person that I have in my life on the BC team and he brought me the Canada Games medal (in PG), the North American overall medal I have had a lot of success with this team and I really needed to get back to feeling that way.”
Now after coping with much anxiety and depression, O’Dine can be appreciative and gratified to have reached the pinnacle of her sport.
“I just took every step kind of day by day to make sure I was doing the best that I could to get back to feeling like myself on the World Cup tour and it was mostly to not put too much pressure on myself for the Olympics. As long as I didn’t put too much pressure on myself, I knew I would do good.”
Doing good would be an understatement.
She was excellent and now can look back at 2022 with positive lifetime memories knowing she is the first P.G. athlete to ever reach the Olympic podium.
The City of Prince George will host a celebration to honour O’Dine on Saturday, February 26th at Canada Games Plaza starting at 1:00 pm.
Hopefully, the City can get in the spirit and have some A & W available for her.
Extra cheese on that burger would also be welcome.
Cat Scan podcast:
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) February 17, 2022
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was named the MVP of the NFL. One thing is for sure, MVP does not stand for Most Vaccinated Person.
*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown is now partners with Kanye West in Kanye’s Donda Sports operation. So here you have a guy with erratic behavior, extreme Narcissism, and wild mood swings. And then there’s Antonio.
*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
Roger Goodell admits that NFL “fell short” in terms of increasing the number of minority head coaches this offseason. If the league only didn’t have to spend so much time focused on important issues, like the right color socks.
*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Yuri Averbakh, the world’s oldest chess grandmaster has just turned 100. I’m pretty sure I know what his next move will be
*Contributor Marc Ragovin of New York
SiriusXM fired PGA Tour Radio analyst Mark Lye after he said on-air “I’ll shoot myself” rather than watch a WNBA game. Now they call him Unplayable Lye.
*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/
In Case You Missed It:
A saleswoman in Holland fled her store after a flock of sheep stampeded in. Note to Montreal Canadiens season-ticket holders: you aren’t alone in feeling fleeced.
*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).