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Chef de mission Mark Tewksbury returns home full of pride after Olympics

08/12/2012 01:05 EDT | Updated 10/12/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - Mark Tewksbury says pride is his overwhelming emotion at the end of the London Olympics.

"It's such a roller-coaster being chef de mission, because you live every experience with every athlete. And you know the Olympics, it's sort of a good mix of heartbreak and jubilation," said the Canadian chef de mission. "I think I'll pass out when I get home but right now I feel just absolutely fantastic."

The former champion swimmer said he made it to three or four venues a day, often using public transit.

While Canada was involved in its fair share of protests and controversy on the field of play, things seemed quiet off it.

"Of course there's always things that happen behind the scenes but if that's your impression, I'm extremely happy," Tewksbury said with a laugh.

Asked what did happen behind the scenes, he said: "Nothing I'd care to speak about."

After the Games, the 44-year-old Tewksbury says he plans to wind down his communications business and turn it into "more of a professional development curriculum-based stuff."

"This was a great leadership experience for me," he said of his duties with the Canadian team. "I said that it's part ambassador, part leader, part mentor and part cheerleader. And every one of those, it pulled to the maximum in these 17 days.

"I feel, although exhausted, a much better person for the experience."

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