(Copyright Brian Williams & CTV)
A couple weeks ago, when I was communicating back and forth with Tracy, the producer of the upcoming CTV Olympic 1 Year Anniversary special, I mentioned that I'd long admired Brian Williams. It just so happened that she works with him and forwarded my email to him with the nice things I'd said about him in it. The next thing I know, she's asking for my snail mail addy because he wanted to send me something. Yesterday, this signed photo and a lovely card arrived.
Yes, my fandom includes a certain Canadian sportscaster. I am sure that surprises alot of people, but there are alot of quirky things that make my world go round and Brian Williams is one of them. Here's why: He made me fall in love with the Olympics.
My whole life, he's been the voice of the Olympics. He's covered 13 of them in fact, which is kind of mind boggling, really. Anyone who knows me, knows that when the Olympics are on, there's no point in calling me or asking me to do anything for the duration. I'm glued to the tv, night and day and if it's on in a difficult time zone, then I'm taping while I sleep and watching during all my waking hours. Everything stops in my house for the Olympics.
Brain Williams is what makes the whole Olympic experience special. When he talks to our athletes, his warmth and caring comes across. You can tell that the Games are his passion, not just some job assignment. He is warm and kind to everyone he interviews and he presents the story in such a way that even if you're sitting home in your pyjamas, you feel like you're there and a part of it. He represents Canada in a way that makes us proud. (And I am especially proud that he comes from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg has had some mighty fine exports over the years!)
It's because of him that I grew to love the Olympics and that love grew into a dream of someday participating in the Games. When the Games landed in my own backyard, it inspired me to apply to volunteer and that led to the best experience of my life.
I got to see and do things other people only dream about and ultimately, I got to carry the Paralympic flame, which was beyond anything I had ever envisioned. I have story, after story, after story of my memories of the Games and I have him to thank for it.
The fact that he was moved to send me this gift underscores what a sweet and caring person he is. It was unexpected and much appreciated. So thank you Tracy for setting this in motion and Mr. Williams for your thoughtfulness. I will be framing that photo and hanging it in my studio, where it will make me smile every day.