“Having family and friends understand and respect when you need space, or when you need them, can make the difference.” - Two-time Olympic medallist, Brian Price

Nobody does it alone. And, if you’re lucky, you can relate to how awesome it is having family and friends along for the ride.

“My family has supported me the entire way,” says two-time Olympic champion Rosie MacLennan. “I loved that they were (at the Games). They were the ones I wanted to celebrate with the most.”

From those who know this Olympic journey, it’s clear that unconditional support is an advantage not to take for granted. But don’t be fooled, even the best intentions can sometimes be a distraction in disguise. Indeed, love ain’t easy. This is why we’ve tackled the age-old dilemma for you with three easy things you can do to have all the support from family and friends you deserve at Games, while keeping your eye on the ball.

1. Offer a self-service solution

We know, we know, ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’. It’s totally understandable that your instinct (as a proven high-performing individual) could very well be to provide answers, offer suggestions and be there for those who have always been there for you. That’s what friends (and family) are for, right? Well … during Games … not so much. In fact, at Games, the reverse is often true. The best way to be there for your friends and family can mean not being there at all. Besides, you’re kinda busy.

So, who can help them wrangle tickets, or find the closest kimchi, or find you after competition, or suggest the best time to Skype? They can. Themselves.  All you have to do is sneak a couple helpful hints into a quick chat before you are officially on Korean time:

  • Invest in a conversation sooner than later. Your gang is excited for you, no doubt … maybe even more than you. If they haven’t started already, questions (and plenty of them) are coming. So, now is your chance to lay everything on the table and offer up ways for your family and friends to be self-sufficient when you need them to be.
  • Put your Family & Friends co-ordinator to work. Athletes, coaches and team leaders are experts at many things, but managing family and friends is not one of them. This is why each national sport federation has a co-ordinator dedicated to helping out specifically by liaising with family and friends exclusively. Take advantage.
  • Provide helpful tools. At this point in your career, your family and friends know the kind of competitor you are. They likely understand your individual habits come showtime and they’ve learned to adapt. But, what will they be like? How will the Games affect them (and consequently, you)? Well, everybody is different, so why not leverage the tools available so they can have an awesome experience while being there for you. You could even send this story directly to whomever it could help.


2. Localize the love

Maybe you have a whole crew heading overseas. Or maybe you are sorting out the time difference to FaceTime loved ones at home. Regardless, whatever happens in Korea, will happen in Korea. Meaning, your focus is in that environment, so it’s in your best interest to help your family and friends understand they can put their focus in that environment too.

  • Make the Family & Friends Centre a go-to. If you are in the mountains, know the COC will have a family-and-friends exclusive centre near the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza to pick up tickets and warm up between events. It’s convenient, yes, but note that services provided at this location will be minimal. Here’s a map: 373-7 Suha-ri, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
  • Pass the baton. Your plan is designed for you. Your schedule reflects that, so when curve balls do show up for your family and friends (whether on-site or at home), help them understand they can get in touch with people on the ground themselves to find answers. There are dedicated family-and-friends officers to provide in-person resources. And they can always drop a line to us.


3. Catch up at Canada House (COH)

Anyone who has stepped foot in a Canada House at any Games will tell you how awesome the vibe is. In a foreign country, with energies and adrenalin at high volume, it’s amazing to be around the people for whom the Olympics and Canada mean so much. It’s a special place. Most importantly, though, it’s a place for you, your family and your friends to … well … be yourselves. So, do your gang a favour and help them get familiar with COH ahead of time.

  • Find your way home (away from home). COH is located near the Gangneung Olympic Park, directly beside one of two spectator entrances. It’s about a 40min walk from Gangneung city centre and quick jaunt from the nearest spectator transit stop. Here’s the address: 387-7 Gyo-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea.

  • Register in advance. Canada Olympic House can be a busy place at times. Getting in on-the-fly may not be the easiest, so ensure family and friends are on the list. They can register online and the COC will work with each sport to verify and correspond with each applicant. It’s important to note that family and friends should not purchase tickets to COH as they are provided with free access.



Needless to say, by now your Olympic plan is tight, so you can be the best version of yourself in your own way. With that in mind, take advantage of the tools, services and information available to your family and friends so they can be the best version of themselves, too.


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