Global Calgary News Anchor Linda Olsen on the wine she saves for a special occasion
Linda Olsen’s parents left their native Denmark in 1957 for adventure in Canada, with her father recruited as an electrician to help build the west. Despite opportunities to go to other cities, the Global Calgary news anchor has stayed in Calgary.
“Calgary is my home,” she says. “My family’s here, my parents are both still alive and here, I’m raising my kids here, and I absolutely love this city.”
As a child, Olsen was a prolific writer and wanted to to be an author, although she didn’t know how to make a career of it. She studied business at Mount Royal University, but math wasn’t for her.
Her sister-in-law suggested a career in broadcasting, and Olsen studied Broadcast Journalism at SAIT. Before she even graduated, she was offered a job at STV in Saskatoon, and ended up missing her convocation. Within six months, however, a maternity leave opportunity opened up at CFCN (now CTV), and she took it.
“I went right out of school to my first job, right to my next job,” she says. “I was there for seven years and then an opportunity came up at Global, and I have been here 22 years. I love the work that I do, I love the journalism, I love the anchoring, I love the live breaking news, and the opportunity to write more. As an extension of my job I’m also out in the community sharing the vision of the non-profit groups that we partner with. I really love that part of it too.”
What is the bottle that Linda Olsen is looking forward to opening?
“Through the years I’ve discovered I like a pinot grigio, Santa Margherita. I’ve been buying it for years. I’m a single parent, so the once in a blue moon I’d go out for dinner I would have a glass of pinot grigio. But now my kids are young adults, so I allow myself to make a nice dinner. And I have a glass of wine while I’m making dinner, so it’s a treat for me.”
As for when she’ll open the bottle sitting in her cupboard… Olsen has been running for eight or nine years and loving it.
“That’s my gift to myself. I finally elevated it to the place in my life where it was important above, ‘Well I’ll squeeze it in when I’ve looked after everybody else,’” she laughs. “I decided I would try for a half marathon, so I had been training and I felt so good. Then I started to get a little tweak, and I thought I’ll stretch and maybe it will go away.” But after hosting an event for non-profit March of Dimes with the cast from The Young and The Restless, they all went bowling and Olsen felt a pain she hadn’t felt before.
Olsen had a herniated disc and was told she couldn’t run for six to eight weeks at least, and couldn’t do the half marathon.
“I’ve had a bottle sitting in my cupboard. Every time I’d look in that cupboard I’d see the bottle, but I put my white wine on hold. In the last couple of weeks I’ve started to feel better, so now that I’m off medication I can open that bottle of Santa Margherita. I can celebrate the next phase, which is to continue to get better and hopefully be able to run a half marathon.”