I’m not ashamed to admit that despite all the politics and marketing, I’m a big fan of the Olympics. I even broke my resolution not to have a TV just so I could watch it. I have many friends who are athletes and my own stepdaughter used to be an international-level diver, so I have a good sense of the level of sacrifice and training that goes into pursuing an Olympic dream. Some of my favourite sports to watch are diving, swimming, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, track and field, soccer, tennis, some of the volleyball, cycling, and gymnastics.

Speaking of gymnastics, I was happy to see Kyle Shewfelt back on his feet and after watching the girls doing their magic, I had to dig up this video of Nadia Comaneci’s famous perfect 10s at the Montreal Olympics:

Of course the girls today are doing much harder tricks as the world of gymnastics has evolved much since the days of Nadia Comaneci but her grace and elegance are still an inspiration.

Back from the lake

In Ontario and Quebec – and probably in other parts of Canada and the US as well – spending summer at a cottage in the country, preferably with access to a lake, is a tradition for many families. Alan remembers spending many summers at relatives’ cottages in northern Quebec as a child and we have friends who go to family cottages almost every weekend. So this year we decided to give it a try. Our friends Pearl and Al have a cottage at Skeleton Lake, one of the Muskoka lakes, and there we spent the last 7 days all by ourselves. It was perfect. The weather was very nice for the first five days or so – sunny, not too hot, good enough to go swimming and fresh enough at night to guarantee a good night of sleep. Skeleton Lake lives up to its reputation as one of the cleanest lakes in Ontario and I was amazed at how clear the water was. We spent hours snorkeling along the shore in front of our cottage. I tried doing some work and read many articles sitting by the water and in between canoe trips. Speaking of canoe trips, we had quite a little adventure while at the lake. One day, we left after lunch for a bit of a canoe trip to the other side of the lake. We went exploring the many islands along the way and when we were nearly at the other end, we saw some dark clouds coming so we decided to speed back home. As we paddled towards the cottage, the sky in front of us got increasingly darker, we could hear thunder and the rain falling on the other side – the question was whether we could get to our cottage before the rain. We were about 200m from our cottage when the lake in front of us disappeared under the rain and we were forced to seek refuge at a nearby island. Luckily, there was a boat house set up on a quite alcove, sheltered from the rain and most of the wind. The cottage itself was deserted and waited out the rain under the boat house and as soon as it lightened up we jumped on our canoe and sped to our cottage. It was fun but watching the storm from the warmth of our cottage was even better.

Click on the picture below to watch a slideshow of some of the pictures I took:

For more details about our trip and pictures taken by Alan, check his blog entry.