It’s not being held in North America, there’s a 17-hour time difference from PyeongChang to Prince George, and there are no NHL players in men’s hockey, but it’s still the Winter Olympics.

No matter where it takes place, and controversies that come with the territory, there’s something special about the Olympics.

Low profile sports get their turn in the much deserved spotlight, countries and their many supporters get to proudly wave their flag, and there’s plenty of drama surrounding the many events.

Northern BC is well represented!

Two of the 225 competing athletes from Canada are from Prince George; Megan Tandy in Biathlon and Meryeta O’Dine in Snowboardcross.

Two others from PG are alternates; Sarah Beaudry in Biathlon and Tiana Gairns in Ski Cross.
Jamie MacDonald of Fort St. James is one of 10-members of the Olympic short-track speed-skating team.

The 122 men and 105 women make up Canada’s largest-ever delegation for a Winter Olympics.

63 of those athletes, or 28%, have a connection to BC.

Canada also has 87 coaches, including Jan Wengelin of Smithers, who is the Head Coach of the Canadian Parallel Giant Slalom team.

The 29-year-old Tandy is no stranger to this level of competition, after participating in 2010 in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Prince George’s Megan Tandy competing at 2010 Vancouver Olympics | Team Canada

Her first event will be the Women’s 7.5km Sprint Saturday.

In Sochi, she finished 51st in the individual race and 59th in the sprint,

Tandy is looking for improvement while keeping expectations realistic.

“A lot of my goals are about my personal performance. I can’t control what the other athletes are going to do but what I can control is what I’ve been practicing the last 12 years. I can ski as hard as I can and I can shoot quickly and aggressively. One of my strong points is shooting under pressure,” said Tandy in an interview with myprincegeorgenow.com.

Although she lives in Germany, the DP Todd grad remains grateful for her hometown.

“The reason I am able to pursue this sport is that of volunteer coaches, community ski programs and people dedicating their time and passion on weekends guiding biathlon trips for us as kids, and I really feel like there is an entire ski community in Prince George where I grew up.”

O’Dine gets her first taste of Olympic competition next week.

The 20-year-old Snowboardcross specialist is the top Canadian and sixth in the World Cup standings.

She is excited to represent Tabor Mountain and her Northern BC roots.

“We haven’t had a lot of athletes come out and more often than not we’re a little bit underestimated when it comes to the professional side, which only kinda fuels the fire beneath you and gets you out there and makes you compete a little bit harder.”

O’Dine has had several top 10 results on the World Cup circuit, including a bronze medal showing a year ago in Germany, which gives her confidence heading into competition on the biggest stage.

“Quite a few of the other athletes have a few years on me,” said O’Dine.

“But compared to everyone else, I think for where I stand right now and my years on the World Cup tour I’m coming in pretty good, and I’m confident I’ll be in there with the rest of the top riders.”

The 23-year-old Beaudry is at the Games as an alternate. She is not scheduled to take part in the individual Biathlon races, but there’s a chance she could be picked by the coaches to take part in the relays.

Even if she is only a cheerleader for her teammates, Beaudry can’t wait for the experience.

“It’s definitely pretty exciting and something I’ve been working towards for many years and happy to be there and represent Canada and Prince George.”

The 19-year-old Gairns is not in PyeongChang, but could travel to South Korea on a moment’s notice as a Ski Cross alternate.

“I wasn’t expecting to be in any part of the Olympics at all. Even just being named as an alternate, that was way more than I was expecting. I’m very honoured to be a part of the team.”

MacDonald starts her first event in the 500 metres Saturday; she’s living in Montreal but is grateful for her formative years in Fort St. James.

“I feel like sometimes small towns get overlooked. Anyone can achieve their goals if they go after them. People shouldn’t be surprised to hear athletes are from small communities. It’s hard work, of course. I don’t think I realized how tough it was,” said McDonald in an interview with the Vanderhoof Omenica Express.

Sure, Canadians are looking for medals, but these young women, from our neck of the woods, have made significant sacrifice to accomplish the ultimate in amateur sport.

For reaching this stage, they are all winners, who are living out the Olympic dream.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

The New England Patriots were beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles 41-33. Eagles fans started fires and punched police horses, then they sat down to watch the Super Bowl.

*Conan O’Brien of TBS

 

The celebration got crazy back in Philly. People knocked over lamp posts, overturned a car, ran around naked, set things on fire — and that was just the mayor.

*Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon

 

The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, defeating the New England Patriots 41-33. Philadelphia then went on to defeat Philadelphia.

*Seth Meyers of Late Night

 

Super Bowl 52 is over. The Super Bowl 53 pre-game show starts next week.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

 

Did you hear what happened to Rob Gronkowski, the tight end for the New England Patriots? The Patriots lost the Super Bowl on Sunday and to make it worse, while Gronkowski was on the field someone broke into his house and literally robbed Gronkowski. Which is terrible, but also kind of smart; they knew he wasn’t home because he was playing. They were probably watching him on the TV they were stealing.

*Jimmy Kimmel

 

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has sold naming rights to United Airlines. That will be where games scheduled for 6:00 start promptly at 9:00 the next day.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

 

Wisconsin siblings Matt and Becca Hamilton are one of the teams participating in the first Mixed Curling event at the Winter Olympics. Well isn’t that sweep.

*Marc Ragovin of New York

 

Another inebriated Philly fan decked a police horse. So now the audition for Blazing Saddles movie role has increased to two.

*Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Word is the Philadelphia Eagles fan arrested for punching a police horse has entered a plea. Not gelding.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 

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Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca
Follow him on Twitter: @Hartley_Miller