Friday, February 28, 2014

Sochi to Lahti

As much as we were getting used to the bluebird days of 50 degree weather, our cozy chalet, our stars and stripes race suits, our ugly ceremonies sweaters, and the long treks to the dining hall, the Olympics had to come to an end at some point. I'm still having a hard time believing we were there for three weeks because it seemed to fly by even though there was so much happening. We flew out of Sochi the night of Closing Ceremonies and arrived in Munich early the next morning. We all went to bed for a few hours and then had a day to get our feet under us and do some serious organizing that consisted of unpacking, repacking, and then doing it all over again about three times. With the exception of Erik who did almost every race at the Olympics, the rest of us only raced 2-4 times, but racing aside, the Olympics left us all pretty exhausted. We're bouncing back more and more each day and will be ready to go this weekend, but we had some tired puppies after the last three weeks! Here are some photos from the second half of the Olympics!
Ida, Ana, and I went down to the Coastal Village one afternoon and checked out the village and watched some figure skating. Here we are in front of the USA house. 
And we found the torch! Inspired by Liz and Kik's torch photo from earlier in the week, Ida, Ana, and I decided to try some of our own.

The 30k day was HOT. Here is Jessie racing in a tshirt and Zach giving her one of many feeds during the race.
Jessie, Liz, and Holly in the main pack of the 30k

Sadie, Simi, Zach, and I held down the fort on the lower part of the course during the 30k. The women were doing 10k loops, so that left us with a lot of time in between each time our girls came around. As a result, I think Kikkan found a lot of picture of us on her camera :)
It was hot enough to cheer in t-shirts and we weren't even working hard, so it was a pretty brutal temperature to be racing 30km in for our girls

We were finished racing and didn't get a podium, but we tested out our podium jackets anyway. We decided we looked a little like ugly astronauts and they were so hot in the sun that we lasted about 5 minutes in them. Still kind of cool though!

Here I am getting a ride on Nolan Kasper's shoulders at closing ceremonies. Nolan is on the US Alpine team and goes to Dartmouth for spring terms. We overlapped at Dartmouth for a few years and it's always good to see a familiar face.

I was excited to be able to stay for the Closing Ceremony show because we left right after the walk for Opening Ceremonies. It was a really cool show and it's pretty crazy to think about the amount of people who went into making it happen.

We caught up with fellow SMSer Alex Deibold who was fresh off of a bronze medal in Sochi!

We are so grateful and so lucky to have had such an amazing support staff with us in Sochi. Here are Larry, Ana, and Steph who worked their butts off to keep us healthy and ready for the races. Thank you so much!

The girls minus Liz at closing ceremonies
I can't decide which of the next two photos is the funniest from the trip. We had a charter flight out of Sochi at 4am and we waited in this freezing cold room for a couple hours before our flight took off.  We were all trying to sleep, but it was almost too cold to sleep, so we bundled up as much as possible and used our bags as bed. Here is Sadie attempting the seal pose before she actually tried to burrow into her garment bag and Brian Gregg to the right of her who is face down on the floor. I'm soundly sleeping to the left of Sadie.

When we finally arrived in Munich, it was about 7 in the morning and we were all exhausted. Sadie captured this photo of us. We're each doing something special and look less than psyched to be anywhere but our beds!
Goodbye Sochi!
We are currently in Lahti, Finland where we'll be jumping right back into the World Cup circuit starting with a skate sprint tomorrow and a skate distance race on Sunday. Lahti is having a really bad snow year, so we're skiing on manmade snow that resembles big sugar crystals. It's going to be a leg burner pushing through the deep sugar, but the courses are fun and we're looking forward to some more races! After Lahti this weekend, we'll be heading to Oslo, Norway for the Drammen city sprints and Holmenkollen distance races.

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