A day of discoveries & diplomacy!

Tuesday marked the first complete day for Canada’s short track speed skating team on Chinese soil. On this day, Beijing greeted its foreign visitors, gathered for the World Championships, with mild temperatures and its all too familiar «smoggy» sky.

After several trips up and down the Hotel XiYuan elevators, we were pleasantly surprised to discover this morning that all breakfasts will be served in the 26th floor revolving restaurant. As we gathered for our first breakfast in the restaurant, we enjoyed the magnificent view of the city skyline that offered our majestic host!

Later in the day, the team had a weight training session at the Chinese National Team Training Centre. Following their workout, the Canadian delegation squeezed into cabs that whisked them to the Canadian Embassy where Mr. Ian Burchett, Public Affairs Councillor, and Mrs. Wang Qi, Public Diplomacy Officer, welcomed us and wished the team the best of luck for the competition.

The team also managed to have their first on-ice training session of the 2005 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships. The Canadian skaters attracted a great deal of interest and intrigue from the assembled media as many of the international photographers were discreetly snapping photos of the skaters. Could it be they were trying to find the Canadian «je-ne-sais-quoi» that has made them so successful? Stay tune, as competition begins this Friday, March 11th, 2005…

Text submitted by Annie Dubé, Canadian Team Media Attaché