Here is the end of my weekend wrap up blog. (Obviously I am not still on a plane.)
Since the Grand Prix of Germany from the Nurburgring was going to be shown live on Canadian TV on Sunday morning, my parents, my sister and I met in the hotel restaurant for a traditional Sunday morning breakfast. We managed to steal the TV remote and change the channel to the race. It was a great race and I was glad to see Mark Webber win his first Grand Prix. After liberally applying sunscreen, I headed back out to Exhibition Place to watch the Indy Car race. I saw a few people in the paddock I needed to talk to and then it was onto the grid. I talked to James Hinchcliffe, another Indy Lights driver, and thanked him for some really nice comments he made about my racing and managing my diabetes during one of the TV interviews. He thanked me for a pass I had given to him and then it was time for the national anthems, fireworks, a really cool flyover by CAF jets and the green flag. The Indy race was fantastic! There was some really good racing, a couple of bonehead moves and some interesting pit strategies. The Indy Car race had around 5 full course yellow flags in their 85 laps. They had 5 or 6 cars not finish due to damage. To put that in perspective, the Indy Lights race had no yellow flags in 50 laps of racing and had no retirements. That is even more impressive considering that everyone started the race on wet tires, stopped and put dry tires on when the track was still damp and everyone still stayed out of trouble. Congratulations to Dario Franchitti on a hard won race. A special mention has to go out to the two Canadian drivers- Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy. When they were running 1-2, watching the main grandstand do the wave as they came down the front straight was very impressive. Neither of them got the result they deserved, but they did show why they should be in Indy Car. After the Indy Car race, I fell asleep and took a major nap. Then I headed to downtown Toronto to have dinner at the top of the CN Tower. The CN Tower is a stalwart of the Toronto skyline and the view from up there is seemingly endless. Dinner started in the twilight so I could see how far the city stretched, and by the end of the meal, night had fallen so I could see the Greater Toronto area fully lit! It was amazing. It really gave me some perspective on the whole weekend.
On Monday, I got the opportunity to go to Novo Nordisk’s Canadian headquarters. They had asked me to come tell my story to the employees and I was happy to oblige. I went and spoke with everyone for about an hour. It was a lot of fun and it was neat to interact with more people from Novo Nordisk. At the end of the presentation, they presented me with a beautiful painting by one of Canada’s leading painters, David Harrington. It is a numbered print of the Banting Museum with the ‘Flame of Hope’ represented. Sir Frederick Banting developed the theory of utilizing insulin to control diabetes in the house that has been turned into the museum. From what I understand, he was a professor at a university in London, Ontario and the story is that he came up with the idea when he was trying to come up with a topic for a speech at the school. And, now, alongside the house stands a flame that will burn continually until a cure for diabetes is found. I was really touched by the thought and by the history involved in the painting. It was my absolute pleasure to go speak with everyone there and to have been given such a touching gift was truly above and beyond.
Now, back on a plane headed home. Back to the office for a few days, some down time, hopefully some training, and then it’s back north of the border for the race in Edmonton, Alberta.