Commonwealth Games Blogs

An emotional farewell

Yesterday, I had the honour of watching Canada's best female squash player wear the red and white for the very last time. Alana Miller of Winnipeg bowed out of the women's singles squash event after a tough defeat to England's top player.

Alana and I go way back.

We were doubles partners and rivals on the Junior Canadian badminton circuit and despite the rivalry became good friends. She was and is the sort of person you just can't dislike (and believe me, I tried).

Thankfully for my badminton career, Alana chose to focus on squash after juniors. The decision turned out to be a great one, as Alana has gone on to win several national and international titles for Canada throughout her career.

As I watched Alana run around the squash court one last time, the looming end of my own career - now less than a week away, came rushing to mind. I pushed the thought away as quickly as I could, knowing it will not help me play my best here.

The referee announced the end of the match and Alana waved politely to the cheering crowd before stepping out for a private moment to reflect on this emotional milestone, one that every athlete must face.

But this will definitely not be the last time Alana Miller and I cross paths; far from it in fact. After next summer we'll be sisters-in-law, once Alana marries my brother-in-law (former Canadian badminton champ and Commonwealth Games team member) William Milroy.

I look forward to several family barbeques where we can re-live our glory days with the back yard badminton set.

Reality check for team Canada: "Stay Vigilant"

With many sporting events well underway and as the last of the Canadian athletes get settled here in Delhi, we've had some sobering reminders of the health risks involved with this event.

"The team is getting a little too slack when it comes to our health", Team Canada Mission Staff and former Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Alexandra Orlando told me this morning as we worked out.

The first few days went off without a hitch, so people seemed to think there weren't risks, and now we're seeing a wave of athletes getting sick with things like Delhi belly and respiratory issues.

I could completely relate to what Alexandra was saying, as I'd even noticed myself getting more and more experimental with food in the caf and a little less strict with the hand sanitizer.

I will follow the advice of the Canadian medical staff as they wrote it on the posters inside the elevators of the team Canada buildings: "Canadian Athletes, Stay Vigilant with your health!".

England: We're ready for you

We've had three relatively easy team ties so far. The first was against Uganda, and this was a special one for me as I'd become good friends with the players on the Ugandan team after living and training there for 10 weeks last year (I was in Uganda working with the Canadian-based charity Right To Play). In the women's singles match I played against one of the girls that I had coached during my stay in Uganda, and I felt the tears rush up when she gave me a big hug and whispered "thank-you" at the end of our match.

So far we have won in straight games over Uganda, Mauritius and the Falkland Islands, and our big battle will take place tonight when we go head to head with England. They are the favorites to win, but this young team and I are hungry for the upset.

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