That Granola thing

So, yes, the Games are well over, and so is my silence. I put this blog on hold while looking after a training venue for the 2012 Summer Games. The Olympics and Paralympics are just another source of that kick which gets me to ignore what time of the day or the night it is: I just go. From welcoming the athletes to dealing with temporary contractors, sometimes discovering the magnitude of their assignment once on the job, you name it: that is part of what I do, and did.

My team was great, and I am genuinely saying so because we fixed all the little glitches, those backstage details no planner could really think of, with both a logical and perspicacious approach. That saved many unnecessary headaches, which tremendously helps after many “exceptionally long” 4-hour night sleeps. Being fed sandwiches for almost three months was a bit hard on the body, yet, we get used to it. Like during the 2010 Winter Games, my fridge was empty and lonely, and the first trip back to the grocery store post-Games felt strange.

Outside of what had become the meal times, the catering services overloaded all the venues with granola bars. Yes, they were provided by an Olympic sponsor. Yes, they were multi-flavoured. Yes, we all got an overdose of them. And yes, beside the bottles of water and some sodas, they were the only food we had in common with the athletes. Not that it made us closer to them, or we felt more athletic, not exactly. It became our fuel, our crutch when we were losing energy, a dish for an improvised or forced break, or a bait to some for getting a favour.

I have now returned to the West Coast, elected home (by many) of the Granola bars, and not just when going hiking in the local mountains. I might have been lost in cultural diversities in London, creating confusion within my teammates (“What are you really? French? Canadian? American?”), I kept up with that crazy Games rhythm through many smiles, a multitude of words of support, inspiring athletes, some friendly reminders (from friends, family and beautiful strangers), an incredibly reliable work partner and… those granola bars.

I am unsure whether it was the association of ideas around the West Coast, the identity and the memory of where some of my heart is, the chocolate option on some of these snacks or something else (welcoming suggestions, by the way). That Granola thing opened my eyes far beyond the Games themselves. And, although I am not quite ready to have one anytime soon, thank you, it was fairly comforting to have that (West Coast?) connection on another continent. Now onto the next “local delicacy”, whatever and wherever it is.