U.S. Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner paid a visit to the children and faculty of Arlington Science Focus Elementary School this afternoon to campaign against underage drinking.
Wagner, sporting the bronze medal she won this year as part of the U.S. figure skating team, told the hundreds who gathered in the school’s gymnasium that after she started training to become a figure skater when she was 5 years old, she vowed to do whatever it took to get to the Olympics.
“When you’re an athlete, your body is a machine,” she said. “You want the ultimate machine, so you want to take care of it. So I made a lot of important decisions. I ate my fruits and veggies, I drank a lot of water and, when the time came, I said no to underage drinking.”
After the crowd of kids answered questions on the basic facts of underage drinking, they got a chance to ask questions of their own. One student asked how old the 22-year-old is –”someone should teach you not to ask a lady that,” she gamely replied before answering question — and another asked how much her medal weighed, which led to Wagner giving the little boy her medal to hold.
“This medal stays in a sock,” she said when asked where she keeps her hardware from Sochi, Russia. “I should probably find a better place for it.”
In addition to students and faculty, attendees at the event included state Sen. Barbara Favola, Del. Patrick Hope and Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibly.
Michael Wardian isn’t the only elite marathon runner in Arlington.
Arlington resident Claire Hallissey, a 29-year-old transplant from the UK, was the top British female finisher in the London Marathon over the weekend. So impressive was her time of 2:27:44 that it landed her the third and final spot on the British women’s marathon team at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
“The crowd in London on Sunday was fantastic and the Olympics will be even bigger and better,” Hallissey told The Sun newspaper in the UK. “I’m still ecstatic over my run. I’d hoped I could run a time like that and that everything would fit into place on the day.”
Hallissey’s Olympic-caliber run has captured the attention of nearly every major British media outlet, including The Sun, BBC News, The Guardian, The Independent, the Press Association newswire, the Scotsman, and others.
“CLAIRE-PE DIEM,” blared The Sun’s headline. “Claire Hallissey saves her vest for last with Olympic spot.”
Hallissey was born in Watford, outside of London. After attending the University of Cambridge and then earning a doctorate at Bristol University, she moved to Arlington with her husband Matt, who had been offered a job as a transportation planner, according to various outlets.
Hallissey works as a grant writer for a Loudoun County-based nonprofit organization, according to her LinkedIn page. In her spare time she is an avid baker, according to her Twitter page.
Photo via Twitter
The Evening Star Cafe Olympic block party was, as promised, a fun and well-attended affair. Nearly 100 people crowded the tiny parking lot behind the Del Rey restaurant to drink good beer, eat oysters and traditional block party-style food, and — of course — to watch the USA/Canada gold medal hockey game.
The oysters, barbecue pork sandwich and homemade mac ‘n cheese were all delicious, as was the Brooklyn Brown Ale and other beer selections. Unfortunately, the chilly weather and the relatively tiny TVs made for a less-than-satisfactory viewing experience. About half the crowd had cleared out by the third period, although some merely walked a few steps to the Majestic Lounge, Evening Star’s back bar.
Inside the lounge, the roar following Team USA’s last-minute goal was deafening. Perhaps the only comparably loud moments during the game were the sporadic “f*** Sidney Crosby” chants. After Crosby scored Canada’s winning overtime goal, however, the formerly boisterous crowd seemed too deflated by the loss to get another chant started.
Perhaps they could have taken some revelry-in-the-face-of-dejection pointers from the Team USA fans at this Arlington bar.
The Vancouver Olympics are coming to a close on Sunday, which, if you’ve been watching regularly, may feel like an old friend is going on two-year, extended vacation.
But don’t worry, there are still some opportunities to show your Olympic spirit this weekend.
If the U.S. men’s hockey team beats Finland today (on NBC4 at 3:00 p.m.), Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse will screen the gold metal game live on the big screen Sunday afternoon.
Also on Sunday, Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria is hosting on Olympic block party (as seen on our Events page) and oyster roast from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. The gold metal hockey game will also be shown. From the event posting:
“Expect a day’s worth of good food, fine wine, craft beers, good friends and neighbors and plenty of fun. There’s no fee to attend – Oysters, Red Apron Hot Dogs, Beer, Wine, Coffee and much more will all be priced individually anywhere from $3 to $12.”
Rob Yonick is sick and tired of people stealing his Canadian flag from outside his Yorktown home. He doesn’t know who’s doing it, he doesn’t know why they’re doing it, but he wants it to stop.
Despite the thefts, Yonick says l’Unifolié will still be proudly displayed for all to see this weekend, in time for the epic U.S.-Canada Olympic hockey matchup on Sunday.
“I’m going to put a flag in the window,” he said defiantly, adding that “there’s no doubt” Canada, backed by Pittsburgh Penguins star and Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby, will defeat the American team.
Yonick, a stout Canadian Embassy employee, first had his beloved Maple Leaf stolen this past Columbus Day. He chalked it up to misplaced patriotic fervor.
Undeterred, Yonick bought two new flags — a Canadian flag and an American flag — and bolted each flag to a column outside his stately N. Columbus St. house.
Earlier this week, the American flag disappeared, leaving only a bare, mangled flagpole. Then at some point on Thursday, the Canadian flag vanished, flagpole and all, leaving Yonick flummoxed.
“I don’t know if it’s kids playing a prank, or someone who doesn’t like Canada,” he said. After writing about it on Facebook, a friend suggested the Olympics might have something to do with it, a theory Yonick says is possible but unlikely.