'BoniBlog – So Long Vancouver, Hello Florida

SOME LOOSE ENDS FROM VANCOUVER: One of the final things I did last Friday when I last saw Roslyn Morris, Secretary General of AIPS, was to strongly advise her to attend the Sunday Gold-Medal game in men’s ice hockey between Canada and the USA.
Due to her workload, she hadn’t been to an Olympics competition in Vancouver. I implored her to go because, as an Australian, her first-ever live ice-hockey game would be unforgettable. The crowd, the pace, the meaning of the game to the players and to both nations … all the components were there for a piece of history.
Fortunately, she listened to me – and ice hockey has a new fan. First game for Roslyn saw the home nation go bonkers, Sidney Crosby score in overtime and one of the greatest ever hockey games. If you haven’t read her account, go to www.aipsmedia.com and click on to a story entitled Oh Canada. It’s a perspective you’ll enjoy as much as I did.
And, oh, Roslyn … let’s just say you owe me a big ‘thank you’ on this one!

SHOW OF A LIFETIME: IOC president Jacques Rogge called the Vancouver Games “excellent” and we duly concur. And if you saw the Closing Ceremony with VANOC CEO praising all those volunteers dressed in blue, well, here’s my bouquets for them, too. They were awesome.

MOVING ON TO THE GAMES OF SUMMER: As has been my tradition for six years now, Spring Training in Florida got under way for me as the calendar flipped from February to March. I went from a very crowded Vancouver Airport on Saturday to a day of recharging in Toronto on Sunday and then to the early hour security session at Pearson Airport for Monday’s Toronto-Detroit-Tampa flights.
As far as I’m concerned, the designers of the airports in Detroit and Tampa should be hired to overhaul most airports I’ve seen. The Detroit and Tampa airports are actually people friendly, clean, convenient, loaded with ample food options and a delight.
Security procedures are tough everywhere these days, especially when traveling between Canada and the U.S. There sure isn’t much fun in air travel any more but at least stopping in those two airports is a positive.

MY SPRING TRAINING OFFICIALLY UNDER WAY: The ‘official’ check in for my Spring Training work around the Blue Jays in Dunedin took place just after two on Monday. That’s when the annual ritual of checking in with Jays communications coordinator Sue Mallabon occurred at the Bobby Mattick Training Complex. After workouts today (weather permitting), the Jays then move into the heart of Dunedin to kick off their Grapefruit League schedule on Wednesday.

MEDAL CEREMONY FOR JAYS CANADIAN: Pitcher Scott Richmond, who hails from North Vancouver, is mighty proud these days. I’m anxious to catch up with him to collect his thoughts on the Vancouver Games. His teammates created and then awarded him a ‘Gold Medal’ on Monday, complete with ceremony of placing it around his neck. It was a nice tribute for Richmond in the wake of Canada’s hockey Gold on Sunday. Richmond proudly wore it – while wearing his Canada top.

CHILLY WEATHER ALL IN EYES OF BEHOLDER: Temperatures in the Tampa/Clearwater/Dunedin area hovered around 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) which some of the locals called chilly – especially with rain expected Tuesday and a ‘cold’ front about to move in with predictions dropping to about 13 Celsius for a few days. To me the weather’s pretty balmy here when compared to Toronto. Looking back at Vancouver, well, there was plenty of rain there with peak temperatures being around 12 Celsius. In this area – and everywhere – the weather makes for interesting talk and admissions that there really isn’t much one can do about it, except to complain!