Nancy Jewitt-Filteau enjoyed Atlanta's Centennial Park tremendously.
Until a pipe-bomber shut it down, that is.
"My roommate came back (to the Olympic Village) and said 'did you hear a bomb went off in Centennial Park?' " Jewitt-Filteau, an Olympian judo heavyweight, said following Sunday's Saskatchewan Summer Games opening ceremonies. "I said 'no way!' We'd spend every night down there. It was a real shock. Geez. That could have been any of us walking back. We had fellow team members still down there, but it was amazing how efficient they were at making sure everybody was safe and sound."
Jewitt-Filteau, who lives in Moose Jaw, had been in the park earlier that evening. It was a favorite hang-out after her judo event ended with a 1-2 record on opening day.
"It was a great place to go down, relax, party," she said. "It was a fun place. A big park, a lot of people."
And at least one whacko.
"That," she said, "was some pretty sick individual trying to make a name for himself. But I don't think he'll ever be able to say he did it -- if he did, I'm sure he'll end up swinging."
Before the bomb went off, athletes were screened using picture and hand-sensor identification. After, they were subjected to bag and body searches, along with metal detectors.
"(The bomb) scared everybody," she said. "We were asked by our Canadian mission staff not to leave the village the next day; they asked us not to go out or do anything. They were concerned about our safety and security until everything was straighened out. They brought in more security people to monitor the village perimieter, and the next day, everything was more or less back to normal."
So, overall. . .
"I look at (the Olympics) as being a success," she said. "It was a lot of fun. It was a good party -- and by that I don't mean wild and crazy. Just getting to meet people, enjoying yourself and having fun. There was always lots of stuff to do, until the bomb went off. Then they closed off certain areas."
Jewitt-Filteau, a 34-year-old wife and mother of two, isn't sure if she'll try to crack Canada's Olympic squad in 2000. The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Famer fulfilled a life-long dream when she competed this month.
"My husband says what the heck -- the kids will be older, and I should go for it," she remarks. "But I don't know. I'll be 38. I don't know what the future brings, but I kind of doubt whether I will. I had my Olympic experience and I had a good time."
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald July 1996