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Jenna Conter: Want to be a hard core Olympic fan? You’ve got to stay awake!

The struggle is real.
The struggle is real. - 123RF Stock Photo

I am not a natural night owl. Made more obvious by the Korean Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time discrepancy. So when my favourite sport is slotted for a midnight puck drop, it became a much talked about personal experiment. Can I stay up for the entire game, or merely make it to puck drop? And more importantly, what would it take to do so? After a week-plus of 5 a.m. wake ups to watch live events sandwiched between nights of nearly making it to midnight, remaining conscious for this game seemed like an epic challenge.

Two days prior: Cement a watching buddy. Vital for the non-natural night owl. This friend is tasked to deliver sharp elbows, fill coffee cup and generally keep you from slowly laying down on the couch.

Enjoy all the Armchair athleticism, follow the Games here.

8 p.m.: Realize that 12:10 a.m. Thursday is indeed late Wednesday night so immediately forward said information to watching buddy.

8:30 p.m.: Walk to Starbucks for a giant coffee as watching buddy can no longer make it. Reach out to possible Plan B watching buddy.

9:00 p.m.: Coffee in hand, Plan B watching buddy cancels and I am now on my own for the evening. But Plan B will text from afar in hopes of keeping me awake.

Jenna Conter
Jenna Conter

10:00 p.m.: With three hours-ish until puck drop I do what I have done every night since Feb. 9 – set up my television on one event and live stream on my computer on another event. Since I had been up the previous morning at 5 a.m. to watch events live, the only thing left to watch in real time is curling (I’ll hold my tongue) and ladies big air, which may be the most amazing event I’ve ever seen. Taking flight with a smile on their face and some serious lady balls, these chicks are landing some amazing tricks – the names of which I can’t remember regardless of my previous research on the topic.

I can not only finally get to watch some half pipe action (and witness in real-time all the horrifying fails and injuries), but I can also catch up on my laundry as the mountain of unfolded, clean clothes has all but taken up the non-business side of my couch.

11:05 p.m.: First documented epic yawn.

11:11 p.m.: Make a wish: please may I never think half pipe is a good idea as I will definitely end up on a stretcher with a halo.

11:50 p.m.: CBC switches coverage to hockey and I have made it to puck drop, or at least the 20-odd minutes of pre-game commentary and player profiles.

Having grown up glued to professional hockey, like any true Canadian child, this event is the Olympics. This is what all these days of competition have led to. Better still that the only Maritimers in these Olympics, Jillian Saulnier of Halifax and Blayre Turnbull of Stellarton, are two of our incredible hockey players.

Claws and skates sharpened, it’s the biggest rivalry in the history of the Olympic Winter games as Team U.S.A. hasn’t won a gold medal since 1998.

12:05 a.m.: It’s officially tomorrow and the ladies take to the ice! As the camera pans around the arena, it’s disheartening to see the less-than-full house to support this team. Not going to get into a diatribe about equality in sports, but I’ll just say the women have yet to lose a game during the games. The boys, you can’t say the same.

Twenty years ago in Nagano, Japan was the last time Team U.S.A. took home a gold medal in ladies’ hockey. Here’s to making them wait at least two more!

12:10 a.m.: Puck dropped.

After a 5 a.m. up-and-at-it that morning, I’m still awake. Gold medal: Conter.

At 3 a.m., at the tail end of overtime with clearly none of my keep me awake friends awake, it was pure national pride that was keeping me conscious. With a shoot out a definite, this hockey game could not have been more worth staying awake for.

I’m certain by now you know the outcome of the ladies’ gold medal game. Sob.

At 3:13 a.m. history is made but wow, what a game!

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