Postcards from Vancouver
Jack Johnson's Olympic diary
Los Angeles Kings star Jack Johnson took our Ramona Shelburne along for the ride as he chartered a plane to Vancouver last week for the opening ceremony. Now he's taking you along behind the scenes on his Olympic journey.
Saturday, Feb. 20
I can't believe it's already been a week since I flew up to the opening ceremonies. The first few days here were really packed with meetings and games as we all got to know each other. So it didn't really hit me that I was here, playing in the Olympics, until I went out for that first game against Switzerland.
I was fine until I went out on the ice, looked around and got butterflies. This is as big as it gets. It took me two shifts or so to settle down and feel comfortable. I think it was the same for everyone. But once we did, we played well and have been rolling ever since.
We've been looking forward to this next game against Canada for a long time. I'm sure they have, too. Nothing is going to compare to the atmosphere we'll experience on Sunday. So far the crowds have been rooting for the team we're playing, but mostly because they like to pull for the underdogs. That doesn't bother me, I just like playing in front of the big crowds and I figure they wouldn't cheer against you if you weren't any good.
Tomorrow is going to be unlike any game we've ever played in, though. I think all the pressure is on Canada tomorrow and for the rest of the tournament. If they don't win gold, it's pretty much a disaster for them.
The Canadian team is very popular here. I don't think they can even leave the village without being mobbed. We can pretty much go wherever we want. People sometimes recognize us, but I don't think they want much to do with us right now, until after the tournament is over.
OK, I'm off to go watch Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis in short-track speedskating tonight. Wish us luck Sunday against Canada.As told to Ramona Shelburne, reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.