'Experience of a lifetime'

Eric Hutchings
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12-year-old Eric Hutchings' recounts his three days at the 2010 Olympics

Eric Hutchings, a 12 -year-old from St. John's, was one of 11 Canadian children elected as a McDonald's Champion Kid to attend the 2010 Vanacouver Winter Olympic Games. Eric's unforgottable trip earlier this week included the opportunity to meet Olympic athletes and other Champion Kids from around the world. This is Eric's day-by-day account of his trip as told to The Telegram.

Day 1

I woke up at 5 a.m. for my 6:20 flight. It was a two hour and 53 minute flight to get to Toronto. We then had a three-hour wait in Toronto. We then got on our flight to Vancouve, which was four hours and 22 minutes.

Eric Hutchings (grey hat) got to meet several former Olympians including Carl Lewis (American sprinter), during an unforgottable trip as a McDonald's Champion Kid. - Photo by Getty Images

Eric Hutchings, a 12 -year-old from St. John's, was one of 11 Canadian children elected as a McDonald's Champion Kid to attend the 2010 Vanacouver Winter Olympic Games. Eric's unforgottable trip earlier this week included the opportunity to meet Olympic athletes and other Champion Kids from around the world. This is Eric's day-by-day account of his trip as told to The Telegram.

Day 1

I woke up at 5 a.m. for my 6:20 flight. It was a two hour and 53 minute flight to get to Toronto. We then had a three-hour wait in Toronto. We then got on our flight to Vancouve, which was four hours and 22 minutes.

We were picked up at airport by people from McDonald's and driven to our hotel, where we checked in. I received MacDonald's clothing to wear during my stay, including a track suit, hats, sweaters, long T-shirts and boots, which were great.

As we had some time before all the kids arrived, my dad and I took the SkyBus to the Richmond Ozone Centre, where we met Pat Quinn, coach of Edmonton Oilers and coach of Canada's Olympic gold-medal hockey team in 2002 in Salt Lake City. We also went to a cranberry farm and a speedskating museum at the centre. Due to the large crowds, we had to wait in line for 45-minutes to get back on the SkyBus back to our hotel.

Later in the evening, we met at the hotel for dinner where I met five other kids from Canada, two from the United Kingdom and two from Germany. We also met Ronald McDonald and got to make our own cupcakes and received a McDonalds gold medal.

It was a great day.

Day 2

Today I was very lucky to be able to go to the Olympic Athlete's Village. When we arrived, I got to meet a Japanese speedskater. We then walked through the village to the eating quarters where we saw Team Canada, but we couldn't get their autograph or take pictures because it was against the rules as it was considered their home and they needed their privacy as they prepared for their events. But it was great to see them and I was able to meet American snowboarder Louie Vito, as well as Kelly Clark from the U.S.A, who had won a bronze medal in the women's half-pipe at this years Olympics. We then left the athletes village to go to McDonalds for a great lunch.

At 4:30 Vancouver time, we went to the big event which was the Canada vs. United States hockey game. The atmosphere at the game was electric. It was a close game with questionable officiating in my opinion. Canada greatly out shot the U.S. and in the final minutes Canada was very close to tying the game. The best players for Canada were Crosby, Igilna, and Doughty. The final score was 5-3 for the Americans.

After the game we went to Canada House, where McDonalds held a private reception to give the Champion Kids a chance to meet former Olympic champions from around the world, including American Carl Lewis, Canadian Cassie Campbell, German Katerina Vitt, and American Picabo Street. who presented us with Champion Kids gold medals. To stand next to these Olympic champions was beyond my wildest dreams and I now have many pictures of this great event.

We finished our spectacular day finished with a trip to the Olympic Mega Store. It was a very full day of events and an amazing and unforgettable day.

Day 3

Today when I woke up, I received quite the surprise when I got to go snowshoeing with former American Olympic champion Carl Lewis. We went snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain, which included going up the gondola which rose several hundred feet over the mountain on a steel cable car. During our snowshoe walk,we got to stop and have lunch and visit with aboriginal Canadians from the Squamish nation.

After our snowshoe journey, we hopped on our bus and went to Capilano Suspension Bridge, which spans 450 feet, has a height of 230 feet and was amazing. We were told that that the bridge could hold 96 well-fed African elephants. We then got some hot chocolate and continued on to Cypress Mountain for men's aerials.

Men's aerial skiing was very cool to watch as the athletes went flying through the air and landed amazing jumps. With three Canadians qualifying for the finals, the excitement was electric in the lit-up hill at night. While Canada did not medal, it was quite a treat to see this event live with my new friends from around the world.

To end my Olympic experience, all of the McDonalds Champion Kids went to an unforgettable supper. While we had a tremendous three days together it was a little sad to say bye to my new friends from around the world.

McDonald's Champion Kids Olympic event was an experience of a lifetime as I met kids from Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as meeting Olympic athletes, seeing Olympic events and exploring Vancouver.

I hope to keep in touch with all my new friends for years to come.

Thank you, McDonald's.

Organizations: McDonald's, SkyBus, Edmonton Oilers Olympic Athlete Team Canada Canada House Olympic Mega Store

Geographic location: Canada, Toronto, St. John's United Kingdom Germany Vancouver Salt Lake City United States Grouse Mountain Squamish Cypress Mountain

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Recent comments

  • Tony
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Glad you and your dad had a great time. Really nice to see corporate sponsers who do these things. Makes me feel proud to grab a big Mac!!! Way to Go!!!!!!

  • Tony
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Glad you and your dad had a great time. Really nice to see corporate sponsers who do these things. Makes me feel proud to grab a big Mac!!! Way to Go!!!!!!