Jack Johnson is now officially a United States Olympian. He traveled to Vancouver yesterday — flew to Washington, drove to Vancouver — and marched in the Olympic opening ceremony, then flew back to Los Angeles. Tomorrow, he will be headed back to Vancouver, along with Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Michal Handzus and Jonathan Quick. Here’s what Johnson said this morning about his first Olympic experience…
Question: What was the experience like for you?
JOHNSON: “It was a great experience. It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done, and it was worth every minute of it to get there.”
Question: You probably had a vision of it. Was it even bigger than you thought?
JOHNSON: “I didn’t try to envision too much of it, because I knew that whatever I envisioned, it wasn’t going to be anything like it. It was everything I thought it was going to be, and more. Like I said, it was the coolest thing I’ve ever done, and something I’ll never forget.”
Question: You probably anticipated a long day. Was it a long day?
JOHNSON: “It was, but like I said, it was worth every minute of it. I knew that going in. I just had to do what I had to do to get there, and I’m happy I did it.”
Question: And now can you quickly turn your focus back to the Kings?
JOHNSON: “We’ve got a game tonight and I’ll be ready to go at 7:30. I’ll go home, get some rest and get a meal in me, and I’ll be ready to go. I have one more game until I start thinking about Olympic hockey, and we’ve got to give ourselves as many points as we can in the standings before the break.”
Question: What time did you get back?
JOHNSON: “About 2:30.”
Question: The ceremony looked good on TV. What did you see live?
JOHNSON: “The whole ceremony was incredible. From start to finish, there wasn’t a dull moment in the entire thing. I took as much video and photos as I could. Like I said before, it was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Question: Did you hang out with anyone in particular there?
JOHNSON: “I walked in with Shaun White, and I was able to march with the hockey trainer, the head athletic trainer, Stan Wong. I’ve known him for years, so I sat with him and a couple of the speed skaters.”
Question: Your schedule can be pretty tight there. Do you know if you’re going to have time to go out and experience other events?
JOHNSON: “We’re going to have chances to, and I plan on going to as many events as I can. I already got to know a few of the athletes, and that’s what I want to do. I want to get to know as many of the athletes as I can. That’s part of the Olympic experience, interacting with them and cheering them on. They said they want to watch us and cheer us on as much as they can, as do I with them.”