To go or not to go, to Sochi

Colin MacLean
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Sharon Moyse, mother of Summerside Olympian Heather Moyse, looks over some of the paperwork and documents required to attend the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer

Moyse family waiting until last minute to decide on trip to Olympics

SUMMERSIDE – The tickets are booked, the mountains of paperwork and security checks are done. All that’s left for them to do is show up at the airport.

But will the Moyse family actually get on that flight to the Sochi Olympics?

They’re not quite sure yet.

Sharon and Cyril Moyse, parents of Summerside’s own bobsleigh Olympian Heather Moyse, are waiting until the last minute to decide whether or not they’re going to travel to Sochi to watch their daughter defend her gold medal.

“We’re not going to decide probably until the middle of next week,” said Sharon on Tuesday.  

On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer that they would go, she said, but it’s really not that easy of a decision, given the circumstances.

These Russian Olympics have been threatened by extremist groups within that country and tensions in the area are already high in the region. Many have expressed trepidation with attending.

“We’re certainly conscious of what’s going on over there or what could go on over there – but it really just came to the fore when Heather realized what was going on over there,” said Sharon.

“She called home and was quite concerned about our safety, so when I realized how much it was bothering her at that time, I thought maybe it might be better for her if we’re not there – then she doesn’t have to worry about us.”

The Moyses are now waiting on word from their daughter, who landed in Sochi earlier this week, as to whether she feels it’s safe enough for them to attend.

Even if they do go to Russia, they’d only be staying long enough to see Heather race and then coming right home, said Sharon.

And with this being their daughter's third Olympics – it wouldn’t be a huge disappointment if they had to stay and watch from Summerside.

These games are widely considered to be the most security heavy Olympics ever – and Sharon can believe it. The amount of paperwork they’ve had to fill out is staggering, she said.

Beyond the usual travel arrangements one makes when travelling, the Moyses needed to register and be approved for spectator passes to get into the Olympic area, another pass to get into any of the buildings in the resort village and then another to get into Canada House.

That doesn’t include the tickets they need to watch the event or travel arrangements.

“If its all for safety I guess I won’t complain – but my goodness it’s been quite the process,” she said.

This will be Heather’s third Olympic games. She won gold with Kaillie Humphries in Vancouver in 2010 and narrowly missed a bronze medal with Helen Upperton at the Torino, Italy, Olympics in 2006.

Heather’s runs in Sochi are Feb. 18 and 19.



Organizations: Canada House

Geographic location: Sochi, Russia, Vancouver Torino Italy

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