Ever since I was a little girl, one of my dreams was to visit Switzerland. A few years ago, I made a bucket list with a number of different places I wanted to visit, and things I wanted to experience.
Marilyn’s Bucket List:
• Visit Switzerland
• Get my master’s degree
• Fall in love, and have children
• Meditate in an ashram in India
• Start a foundation for children with special needs
• Travel across Canada in an RV
• Write a book
• Learn a new language
• See Coldplay live at the O2 arena
• Send my parents on a vacation of a lifetime
• Cover a major sports event
Of course, Switzerland made the list.
I was an athlete for 13 years, and always knew that one day I would be a sports journalist. At the age of 26, I have almost completed my master’s degree, and am one step closer to realising many more of dreams.
So, when I received the e-mail from the World Curling Federation, inviting me to take part in the World Men’s Curling Championships, my heart stopped.
What you don’t know is that my journey to Switzerland and the event wasn’t initially supposed to happen. I had applied for the Sports Media Trainee journalism position in the fall of 2015, upon hearing about the opportunity from my professors at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I waited for an answer, and received the worst news: I didn’t get in. Although I did shed a few tears, I was still thrilled that I was willing to challenge myself and gave it a shot anyway. I thought to myself, "it’s okay, you were brave enough to apply anyway!"
Months went on, and out of the blue, I woke up one morning with a missed call from the United Kingdom, and e-mail from the WCF. I remember just laying in bed wondering if I was ready to face what that e-mail had to say.
After calming myself down, I finally opened the e-mail and it more or less said that a spot had opened up to attend the World Men’s Curling Championships in Basel, Switzerland and the spot was mine if I wanted it. My response? YES!
I never jumped out of bed that quickly, or yelled that loud in my entire life. Two things on my bucket list would be crossed off. How lucky was I?
Fast-forward two months, and I am sitting on my Air Canada flight that is taking me from my hometown of Montreal, Canada, to Frankfurt, Germany, and eventually Basel, Switzerland, where I would be serving as the Sports Media Trainee reporter alongside experienced and respected journalist Mike Haggerty. Mike has made me feel at ease, even during times when I doubt myself. He is the perfect mentor to work with.
So far, the experience has been absolutely incredible, minus the jetlag of course. Switzerland is everything I expected it to be, and more. I feel like I am living in a fairytale. Celine, WCF’s former 2014 photographer trainee has welcomed me into her country with grace and compassion. I am so happy I get to experience the next week or so with her by my side.
Everyone has been so wonderful to me. From Celine, Cameron and Mike, to Chris and Al, they have all welcomed me to the team with open arms.
Here’s hoping that the next few days, are as incredible as the first. I still feel like I am living in a dream.