Olympians past and present meet ahead of 2010 Games – Metro US

Olympians past and present meet ahead of 2010 Games

Olympic hopefuls are getting pumped up — physically and emotionally — with support from fellow athletes wanting to own the podium at the 2010 Games.

More than 90 athletes were mentored by coaches and former Olympic medallists throughout the weekend at the Ol­ympic Excellence Series at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Vancouver.

Patrick Chan, an 18-year-old figure skater from Ottawa, said hearing past experiences from former Olympians is teaching him what obstacles to expect.

“I’m missing school for this,” Chan said. “But it’s really been preparing me mentally as well as physically.”

Pair figure skaters Craig Buntin from North Vancouver, and Meagan Duhamel from Lively, Ont., said the event is taking away team rivalry between the Canadians and replacing it with confidence.

Buntin and Duhamel have ranked in the Top 10 in World Championships for the last two years running.

“Being in the same room with athletes who have the same goals as us is inspiring,” Bun­­tin said. “We’ll be like a family by the time we get th­ere.”

“The Olympics aren’t that much of a dream, because they’re here,” Duhamel said.

Canadian athletes made history this season in capturing 28 medals in the World Championships, topping both Germany and the United States.