Thursday, February 6, 2014

Made it to Sochi!

The past week has been a whirlwind! Before heading to Sochi, we had one last weekend of World Cup racing in Toblach, Italy. Saturday was a 10k individual start classic race. I wasn't racing this, but my teammates had some awesome results. All five of our girls were in the top 22 and the highlight of the day was Erik Bjornsen not only scoring his first World Cup points ever, but doing it in style with an impressive 18th place! Sunday was a skate sprint and we had six people qualify for the rounds. I was not feeling quite on top of my game, but I qualified and ended up 19th and it was still a solid day. On Saturday night, we were saddened to learn about the passing of Torin Tucker. I was lucky enough to overlap with Torin for one year at Dartmouth and he came to my house a couple times because he was in the same class and good friends with my brother. The thing I will remember most about Torin is his smile - he was a really happy person and that rubbed off on the people he surrounded himself with. Here is a nice piece Karina Packer wrote about Torin. Dartmouth Carnival, the Supertour, and the Olympics all start this weekend and I know there will be a lot of people out there skiing for Torin.
Summer run with Torin
It was a lot of fun having the Fullers in Toblach for the weekend and Steve took some great photos. Here I am during my qualifier.
Some crazy haired ladies

Our new boots from Kik!

Liz, Ida, and me

After the race on Sunday, we packed up and drove to Munich where we had a day of processing before heading to Sochi. We had a relaxing morning on Monday before the storm hit. When we arrived at processing, we had about three hours of "shopping" ahead of us. We were outfitted by Nike and Ralph Lauren for our Olympic gear as well as Bjorn Daehlie for our race suits and warm ups. In addition to about two huge boxes of new clothes, we got our Olympic watches, rings, and phones. We've each been provided with a tablet to use during the Olympics that comes with minutes, data, and texts which has been extremely helpful with keeping track of each other here. Here are some photos from processing!
Psyched Sodie!

Ides in one of our many Nike sweatsuits

from pink to... red, WHITE, and blue!

This is how we're supposed to look

Andy sporting his closing ceremonies outfit

Sophie and Sadie

Team photo where Erik and I thought it would be a good idea to hold hands. Turns out it looks a little more like a wedding photo now!

Stars and stripes!

Just a bunch of excited Olympic rookies about to go through processing

Opening Ceremonies outfits
Between the excitement and the shopping marathon, processing was pretty tiring. Luckily, all we had to do was go to bed and get ourselves on the plane the following morning. We had a charter flight to Sochi with a bunch of other US athletes. The flight was easy, lasting about 3 hours, and we touched down in Sochi at about 2:40 Sochi time (this is 9 hours ahead of EST). After arriving at the airport, we had to collect our bags, go through security, and make the trek up to the Endurance Village. Even though the process lasted a few hours, it was relatively seamless and we arrived in our village with just about all of our baggage! There are three athlete villages here. There is the coastal village, the mountain village, and the endurance village. We are living in the endurance village with all the other cross country skiers and biathletes. It's about an hour away from the coastal village and we have to take a gondola up the last section! It was pretty cool because everything was cloudy down below and the we hopped off the gondola into the sunshine on top of a mountain. Here are some photos from our travel day.

Sadie and me with one of the Sochi volunteers
Made it!

Excited Sodie

Plane buddies with Erik

We were each in charge of carrying the opening ceremonies outfits of people who had flown a few days before and I got our Sports Psychologist's!

Gondola up

Palm trees down in Sochi
Once we arrived in the endurance village, we were immediately driven to our house. All seven girls and our female staff are staying in a chalet. It is AWESOME! It has tons of space and the pantry and fridges were fully stocked when we got here. Sadie and I are roommates, which has been a blast. Our first day of skiing was yesterday and the sun was shining again. I felt amazing, but I'm pretty sure it was just because I was so excited to be here. The courses are challenging and well made with plenty of snow and room for passing. We've been extremely busy since we got here and I'm trying to soak it all up, but it's still sinking in a little more each day. Sadie and I were saying we feel we're being treated like princesses here, but it's important to remember that it's just another race...with a little more hype than usual ;). I plan to walk in the opening ceremonies tomorrow night, so put on your glasses and look for us! The first cross country race will be on Saturday with the 15k skiathlon. I won't be racing the skiathlon, but I will be racing the skate sprint on the 11th and the 10k classic on the 13th! Thank you so much for following and for all the support. I've received an incredible amount of messages and am so happy to hear from each one of you!

Our ride up on the snowmobile this morning with Grove

And yesterday...

a little media time before the ski

Just hangin

Morning walk to breakfast

The honeymoon suite

complete with goodie bags!

Mountains of Sochi
Me and Sadie before our ski yesterday

Sadie and I decided to hang from the rings for a photo up at the venue and ended up attracting a lot of attention. We even got in Business Insider
The village!
Sadie, Liz, and Kik
Girls minus Holly
Liz rocking our white warm ups


  1. Hi Sophie!
    I've blocked off my Tuesday morning already and can't wait to watch you all race. Sending our best wishes to you and the team.
    Hope Bigelow Pinkerton

  2. Tuesday morning in Boston: You made us so proud of you. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put ito your campaign. And to make the final heat of the sprints! WOW! Job very well done. Keep up the good work.

    You done the USA and Dartmouth proud.

    Toby Reiley (Heather's dad)

  3. Sophie,
    I was totally wrung out from screaming, yelling, waving my arms, clapping and jumping around after your finish in the semis.


    ALL of us are so proud of you! I've told dozens of people to keep an eye on you and they've been emailing me and calling me to thank me for making their Olympic viewing so exciting!

    And, you've only just begun! You go, girl!

    aka Leif Johson's Mom

  4. Welcome to Sochi. Sure you like the place and Russian people.
    And welcome back any time you wish.
    With the warmes wishes to all US Olympic team.