On the 21st of August, Shelly Smee will have fulfilled a dream...she has a ticket to the Women's 10 Meter Platform Finals at the Beijing Games.
Like millions of 9 year old girls in gymnastics, during the Montreal ‘76 games, Shelly went Nadia crazy and vowed to make it to the Olympics one day. At 11 Shelly made the switch to diving, spent most of her teen years training in Calgary, and was a top ten nationally ranked platform diver through the early 80's. She did not pursue diving in college, and kept a mild interest in the sport through the 90's.
In 2002, Shelly re-kindled her love of the sport by joining the Master's Diving program at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, training and competing in Provincial and International masters events just for fun. Ms. Smee went on to win Bronze and 2 Gold medals in Edmonton at World Masters Games in 2005. "I had an amazing time in Edmonton, there were over 22,000 athletes of all ages, from around the world, coming together in the spirit of sport to participate in the sports they love!~ it's an amazing movement that doesn't get much press. For information on the World Masters Games visit http://registrations.2009worldmasters.com/ .
A serious car accident in 2006 sidelined her training for the past 2 years, but it did not dampen Ms. Smee's determination to go cheer for Team Canada in Beijing. For 2 years she followed the online ticketing process to bid for tickets allotted for foreigners, and after placing many bids and waiting 18 months, received her ticket of choice last Wednesday Via UPS!
"As soon as I opened the envelope and saw the gold embossed ticket for the Women's 10 Meter Final, I knew I had to go....there were still a few flights available and I had no trouble booking a room at $139.00 CAN at a brand new Holiday Inn in Central Beijing" Ms. Smee reports. "It is amazing to finally being going to an Olympics, I was a chaperone when some of our Junior Team went to Shanghai and Beijing in 2006, the pool venue was not finished yet, so it is going to be amazing to see this architectural masterpiece.
"Team Canada has some of the best Divers in the world outside of China right now, with serious contenders in all events. Both the Men and Women's individual and Synchro teams are strong, there is no reason we shouldn't have athletes in all of the finals. Local athletes include 3 time Olympian Blythe Hartley, and in his first trip to the Games, from Victoria, Riley McCormick. I am going to do my best to get last minute tickets for as many additional events as possible!" says Ms. Smee.
It was just announced today that domestic ticket sales have started in Beijing with a remaining 820,000 tickets now available at ticket booths/venues throughout Beijing.
Diving Canada Website http://www.diving.ca/english/html/home.htm