Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poland, Seiser Alm, and official Olympic selection!

We wrapped up our final eastern Europe weekend in Poland and made the long drive to Seiser Alm, Italy on Monday. We will be spending the next week in Seiser Alm for our pre-olympic training camp. More on Seiser Alm in a minute, but first a recap of Poland and the official Olympic Selection!

Roommates in Poland in our matching outfits
The US had a really strong weekend of racing in Poland highlighted by 5 girls in the top 15 in the sprint, Jessie and Andy making the final, Kikkan winning, and Liz having her best sprint ever. On Sunday we had all five girls in the top 25 and Andy and Noah also both scored points. Poland barely had any snow and the organizers worked really hard to put together a race course for us. I can't say it was the cleanest snow I've ever skied on, but I was extremely impressed with the effort that went into making those races happen. Even though we had a great weekend of racing, I think we were all excited to head to Italy, especially after seeing the pictures from Seiser Alm that Matt, Liz, Jessie, and Noah had taken the week before. I don't have many photos from Poland, but here are a couple I took.

Jessie rocking the PINK!
Sprinting in Poland

I sent our PT, Zuzanna, home with some World Cup bibs for her kids and she sent me this photo which put a huge smile on my face!
The official Olympic cross-country team was named yesterday and I feel so honored to be a part of such an amazing group. Congratulations to everyone who made it! As excited as I am, I also recognize that there are people out there who worked very hard and were close to making it but didn't, and I understand their disappointment and frustration. Being on the Olympic team is a huge honor, but it doesn't define you as a person or change anything about your character. Everyone who worked hard and didn't make it is just as impressive as anyone who worked hard and did make it. The naming process is difficult and it's often a matter of being just inside the cutoff or just outside of it and that difference can be miniscule. Here is the official roster:

Men's Cross Country
Erik Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA (7/14/1991)
Brian Gregg, Winthrop, WA (6/27/1984)
Kris Freeman, Concord, NH (10/14/1980) *
Simi Hamilton, Aspen, CO (5/14/1987) *
Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO (8/1/1989)
Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA (7/19/1980) *
Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT (11/30/1983) *
Women’s Cross Country
Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA (11/21/1989)
Holly Brooks, Anchorage (4/17/1982) *
Sophie Caldwell, Peru, VT (3/22/1990)
Jessie Diggins, Afton, MN (8/26/1991)
Kikkan Randall, Anchorage (12/31/1982) *
Ida Sargent, Orleans, VT (1/25/1988)
Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT (1/12/1987) *
* denotes previous olympian
So back to Seiser Alm where I've taken plenty of pictures because you could take a picture of anything and it would be beautiful. We are staying in a hotel on top of the mountain and we can't drive up to the hotel, so we ski in and ski out and in order to get down to our van we have to ski down an alpine hill. The first two days we were here the weather was perfect. I can't believe places this beautiful actually exist. There are a ton of trails, there is plenty of snow, and most of the other World Cup skiers are here, so there are a lot of friendly people around. Here are some photos from our first few days in Seiser Alm.

Sunset ski

How to get to training when you're living on top of a mtn!

Sadzarue - healthy and back in action!

It's even spectacular on a cloudy day

Beautiful day for a ski with Jess, Simi, and Gus!

Mmmm

I get to ski with this pretty lady almost every day!

And some little pieces of home above my bed
That's all for now!

3 comments:

  1. Wow, that place looks magical! Thanks for sharing the photos. I hope to ski there some day.

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