When I arrived home the other day, after nearly a month in Vancouver, I was greeted by a doorstep that was adorned in balloons, streamers and a great big poster. It was such a sweet surprise, to see that the kids of one of Scott’s co-workers came by to wish me congrats and decorate the house. The poster was adorable, with notes like “We are so proud of you!” and, “We wacht you race it was awsome!” It really made me smile.
Leading up to the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, I was pen pals with a grade one class from Sudbury, and also adopted by Walter Lee school in Richmond. During the Games they both sent me care packages stuffed with handmade cards, notes and drawings, wishing me good luck. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every last one. Some made me smile, some touched my heart and some had me laughing out loud. The thing is, kids get it. They totally get what it’s all about, and I was so thankful to be reminded of that often throughout the Games. Although I didn’t always heed their advice, I certainly appreciated it.
I thought I would share a sampling of some of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! From the kids in Sudbury:
‘dear Kristina I hop you or haven fen. love Noah’
‘I like you I rel hop you win’
‘Dearrr Kristina I love your Olympics from Holly’
‘Dear Kristina, you are the best spede skatr evur. from: Alyssa’
‘Dear Kristina, You are loki to get a metol. And you roc. So I am happy very very happy. Love, Kyra’
‘Kristina I hope you gut a gold medl’
This one is particular made me laugh out loud: ‘Dear Kristina do you have three friends. Love Nolan’
All of those came from the sweet kids in Tania Lacroix’s grade one class in Sudbury. These next ones are from kids at Walter Lee. Some are funny, but mostly they are real and true and surprisingly insightful
‘You’re the best no matter what Go Kristina Go! Keep racing, try your best, Have Fun! From someone you inspired, Diana’
‘Go Kristina Groves! We’re cheering for you Kristina! Good luck! Try you best! But remember, it doesn’t matter if you win a medal or not, you just need to have fun! Thanks for inspiring us! From Hirotoshi’
‘To Kristina Groves From Rodrigo. I have speed skating lessons. I wanted to start speed skating because you are a speed skater and it looked like fun. I hope you do well and I’m cheering for you.’
‘Kristinas #1. to Kristina: your doing really good (Im sure and I think you dont need to get a gold medal every time) Im glad Walter Lee adopted you instead of someone else because aren’t you sponsering right to play? also speed skating isn’t my favourite sport but it’s good enough. from Chris’
‘To Kristina from Kylie yo you were ok. No way you were awesome You are the best’
‘To Kristina from Aaron Hello Kristina how are. When I grow up I want be just like you and being in the Olympics. I want to raice just like you. bye.’
I didn’t get a chance to read all of these until after racing was done, but somehow I wish I could have read these next three. They made me smile and tear up at the same time, and reminded me of the big picture:
‘Dear Kristina. Hi. How are you? I am very glad you let our school ‘adopt’ you. At our school we watched your races and cheered you on. I hope you are going to come to Lee soon. We are all really excited here at Lee for your visit. I hope you will win your race and make all of Canada proud. Some words of advice are don’t stress out before your races. Even if you don’t win gold, Canada will still cheer you on. Go Kristina Go! From your new friend, Reneet.’
‘Dear Kristina, Hello! How are you? My name is Winnie and I am a 6th grader at Walter Lee. I would like to wish you the best of luck on your last race! You have inspired and made a lot of Canadians proud with your hard work, determination, and the medals you won! Good job! You have inspired me especially. I haven’t really skated in my life ever since I was six years old, but after seeing you speed skate, an Olympic dream began building inside me too. If I ever make it to the Winter Olympics, I owe you a big ‘thank you’. I know you can win your last race! Go for gold! Go Canada! Go Kristina! Walter Lee loves you! Love, Winnie. p.s. Even if you do not win a medal, it is fine. Try your best and just have fun! Good Luck!’
And this last one just had me melting into the floor:
‘Dear Kristina, I would really love for you to win another medal, but please remember my motto – “Win some, or learn some” – inspired by the song, I’m yours, by Jason Mraz. Even if you “learn some”, you’ll always be a legend at Walter Lee. From a proud student, Candrika’
March 22, 2010 at 6:17 PM
I would like to share with you my daughter’s picture of you. Her name is Samantha, and she will be 6 years in May. Her SK class followed the Olympics, and each child made a picture of the metal winners. She drew a picture of you. It’s touching because along with her interest during the Olympics, she also received skates this past Christmas, and has done excellent in her first skating class. She was very happy to receive a ribbon when she passed the first level, and is eager to go to the next level class after Easter.
Please let me know how to send you a copy of the picture, as I hope it puts a smile on your face the same way it did mine.