Renata King has been home for a little more than a week. But when anyone mentions London, she still gets the chills.
King was in the historic English city for the recent Summer Olympic Games. Along with husband Richard and son Nicholas, she watched her 20-year-old daughter Savannah compete for Canada in swimming. Savannah powered through London Aquatics Centre waters in the 400-metre freestyle and 800m freestyle races.
And King, along with her family members, was among the thousands of spectators in the seats, watching Savannah and the other athletes live their dreams.
"It's life-altering to watch your kid walk on deck at the Olympics," said King, a Prince George resident who works for the Northern Development Initiative Trust. "You're cheering personally but when you have 10,000 people doing it with you, it's quite an experience. I can't get the smile off my face."
Savannah also wore the maple leaf at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when she was just 16 but her parents and brother weren't there to witness those Games.
In London, Savannah placed 18th overall in the 400m freestyle with a clocking of four minutes 10.93 seconds. In the 800 free, she finished 15th in a personal-best time of 8:29.72.
"It was an incredibly proud moment to have her qualify [for the Olympics], have her compete and have her do a best time," King said. "Just being there is an amazing accomplishment. You have to recognize the journey. A four-minute race isn't what it's all about, it's all the work that it took to get there."
Savannah started her swimming career in Vernon, where she still holds close to 30 records with the Kokanee swim club. Presently, she attends the University of British Columbia and swims for the UBC Thunderbirds.
Savannah made her first senior national team appearance at the 2006 Pan Pacific championships. At the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, she won a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle.
Aside from witnessing Savannah's swims in London, King's fondest Olympic memories will likely come from the hours she spent in Canada House, which was located in Trafalgar Square.
"The Canadian friends and families of athletes could go there and watch all of the events on the big screens," King said. "So if you didn't have tickets, you went and hung around with all the Canadians and cheered for the athletes who were actually at the pool. It was fabulous.
"When Brent Hayden won his bronze medal [in the 100m freestyle] the roof almost came off of Canada House because we were so thrilled for him," King added. "It was his third Olympics and probably his last because he's getting married in a week or so."
Hayden trains with Savannah in Vancouver so that made his accomplishment even more meaningful for the King family.
"It was delightful to watch swimmers that you've been watching for years and years achieve what they want," King said.
King and her husband and son didn't see any other live events while at the Olympics but Savannah was at the finish line when track star Usain Bolt claimed gold in the men's 100m dash. The race is considered one of the glamour events of the Olympics and Bolt's winning time of 9.63 seconds put to rest any doubts that he's still the world's premier sprinter.
As an Olympian, Savannah had her name put into a ticket lottery and that's how she got a spot in the seats for Bolt's victory.
"We were offered tickets to the final for Usain but they were $600 each so I said, 'We'll probably see it better on TV,'" King said with a chuckle.
As a student and full-time athlete, Savannah always has a busy schedule but King is hopeful her daughter will be able to come to Prince George to do some work with swimmers from the Prince George Barracudas.
"I'm familiar with some of the folks that are running the Barracudas and I'm sure they'll try and get her up here at some point," King said. "They've got some really good swimmers and that's the beauty of it -- you start in a small-town pool and you can go to the Olympics."