Sarah Conrad loves Canada like she knows the vast majority of her country mates do.
But what makes this Olympian snowboarder feel most proud about her country is the positive things she hears about it when competing around the world.
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And it’s not just once or twice either – it’s everywhere all of the time.
“It’s pretty awesome,” the 24-year-old says during an interview in her hometown of Dartmouth. “The one thing that Canada has and we should be really proud of is our reputation. It’s amazing.”
Conrad uses an example of this Canadian-love when the national snowboarding team visits small ski towns in Europe. With no big hotels to stay in, the teams are split up and stay in little family villas or chalets.
“They’re so excited when they get to host Team Canada,” Conrad says of the families. “It’s kind of an awesome feeling. It makes you feel more welcome.”
The welcome mat was also there for Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. In what was Conrad’s Olympic debut she recalls being astonished at the welcome the Canadian team received.
“It was just phenomenal. Everyone just loved us,” she says smiling. “You look at the welcome the United States got, and it just wasn’t the same. I don’t know. Everyone cheers for Canada. It’s kind of weird how that works out. We’re a pretty likeable country. It’s nice to be apart of that.”
Conrad will hopefully get to keep hearing those cheers at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. While not officially landing her spot, she is very close, requiring only one top-five finish next season to make it official.
“Going to the Olympics twice would be amazing,” she says. “I can’t wait for it to happen. I hope I do well. It’s going to be crazy the amount of support we’ll get – just having the crowd behind you, it’s going to be unreal.”