Dylan Johnston (left) with Canadian Olympic fencing athlete Philippe Beaudry at the Olympics in London

Dylan Johnston (left) with Canadian Olympic fencing athlete Philippe Beaudry at the Olympics in London

Vernon resident lends a hand at Olympics

He may not be competing in the Olympics, but Dylan Johnston is currently experiencing a golden opportunity in London.

He may not be competing in the Olympics, but Dylan Johnston is currently experiencing a golden opportunity in London.

The Vernon resident is currently in London working at the Canada Olympic House in guests services, most of whom are representatives from government and athletic committees, sponsors, friends and families of the athletes, and sometimes even the athletes themselves.

And whether it’s the Olympic atmosphere or a typical Canadian attitude, Johnston has noticed a friendliness amongst guests.

“The guests from all over Canada greet each other as long-time friends, despite the fact that they may be meeting for the first time – this is the concept that really summarizes the Canada Olympic House,” said Johnston via e-mail from London.

Johnston may not be taking in the events first-hand but the atmosphere is more than enough to make his Olympic experience memorable.

“One of the great benefits of being a part of the Canadian Olympic House is the atmosphere of the building itself. London is crowded with giddy foreigners visiting for the Olympics and is in great spirits. People fraternize and cheer in the streets and at the venues,” said Johnston.

Even the train ride into the city from his home in Surrey (near London) is a highlight for Johnston.

“It takes about an hour but is amazing to see the contrast between the vibrant, loud and busy city of London and the relative quaintness of the countryside where they are celebrating, just not whooping in the streets,” said Johnston.

But even the unique train ride didn’t compare to his experience at Canada House during the opening ceremonies.

“The main hall of the Olympic House was full with hundreds of Canadians going nearly ballistic with the rabid waving of flags and chants. ‘This is our house! This is our house!’ The crowd chanted, of course announcing the ‘ou’ as an ‘oo,’ and sounding more like ‘this is our hoose!’” said Johnston.

It’s likely Johnston will be hearing those chants or similar ones throughout the remainder of the Olympics, something he’s looking forward to and maybe even join in on.

“I get to be a part of the crowd cheering on Canada from its hub abroad as well as to further help by being a part of the Olympic success with my small job,” said Johnston.

“I’m excited to return each day to experience the atmosphere and feel the explosion when we win a gold medal.”