Kyle Hamilton recalls ‘buzz of activity’ during Beijing Games
Kyle Hamilton will never forget his golden moment in the sun.
It was August, 2008 in Beijing when he teamed with Andrew Byrnes, Malcolm Howard, Adam Kreek, Kevin Light, Ben Rutledge, Dominic Sieterle, Jake Wetzel and cox Brian Price to lift Canadians—there and here—off their feet with a gold medal-performance in the men’s heavyweight eight rowing event at the Olympic Summer Games.
“I mostly remember the relief and sense of accomplishment to have finally reached the goal that we’d been working towards for the previous eight years,” said Hamilton, who is returning to his hometown of Richmond this weekend to participate in events Saturday and Thursday as Vancouver hosts the world at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
“Regarding the Games themselves, it’s the constant buzz of activity and intensity that I remember most,” he said.
Though it was a lot of hard work, and many hours of utter exhaustion, Hamilton enjoyed the challenge, and even during those times when things weren’t going well, he knew he was doing what he loved along with people he respected and admired.
“I think the Vancouver Games will be great for the entire Lower Mainland,” he said. “Besides the obvious excitement and intensity the area will experience over the next few weeks, I think that the infrastructure gained and the long-term impact on our city and our youth will be fantastic.”
Hamilton also believes the Games will leave a positive legacy for amateur sport.
“But besides the direct funding angle, I think we under-estimate the impact on amateur sport simply through more youth taking up these sports,” he said.
“Our youth in Canada don’t often get exposed to anything other than the major professional sports, so having this great event in our backyard will be huge for grassroots involvement in sport. Our country is still benefitting from Calgary ‘88, and the impact on our region will be even greater from Vancouver 2010.”
For the first time in a while, Hamilton will get to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics again. He and his wife are taking a break from their studies in Victoria and are anxious to see some of the events and take in the atmosphere for the rest of the Games.