Monday, November 24, 2014

Muonio Update

Before arriving in Muonio, I didn't have very high expectations. It seemed like the only two words people used to describe it here were cold and dark. It has exceeded my expectations in just about every way. I really like it here and have decided not to leave. Just kidding. I think the dark would eventually get to me, but I have really been enjoying our stay. We live in cozy little cabins, the sunrises and sunsets (which are less than four hours apart) are beautiful, the food is delicious, and we get to ski a lot!

Everything is white!

10:30 am sunrise over the ski trails
Reese Hanneman photo
View of the Northern Lights over our cabins the other night (Matt Whitcomb photo)
This morning we woke up to fresh snow and it's continued to snow all day. It's one of my favorite conditions to ski in because it's not super cold, so the snow is still fast and you can kind of just float over the fresh snow. Between the slightly greasy snow and the flakes flying by, you feel like you're cruising. It was a really enjoyable group ski that made me like this place even more.
Morning ski with my coach, Big Gus

Sadie getting creative at strength
Time in the day passes surprisingly quickly. It could have something to do with the limited daylight, but between skiing, eating, and sleeping, there really isn't a ton of time. We've celebrated a couple birthdays and the other day we went into Muonio to do a school visit. Sadie celebrated her 25th birthday on the 21st and Oleg celebrated his birthday yesterday. I'm pretty lucky to have both of them around.
Talking to some of the students during our school visit (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Back to school! (Matt Whitcomb photo)

Happy Birthday Oleg! Oleg is our head kick wax technician, as well as the personal wax tech for Liz and me. He's a great guy to have around. This is a photo of the two of us from the World Cup in Asiago last year.

Birthday girl Sadie and me with some of the kids at the school in Muonio (Caitlin Gregg photo)
In other news, I'm starting to use my second pole again! Yesterday was my first day mixing two poles in. I switched between skiing one lap with two poles and one lap with one pole. It felt surprisingly normal and was completely pain free, so I was as happy as could be. I did another easy ski with two poles today and my elbow felt fine again. I've been working with our PT, Pete Dickinson, twice a day since arriving here and he's been extremely helpful. We've made a lot of progress and I can't thank him enough for all the work he has done. We take thumbs up pictures after every couple sessions to see how straight I can get my arm and this is my most recent one. Almost there!
Getting straighter by the day (Pete Dickinson photo)

First day with two poles! (Pete Dickinson photo)
I'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow. It will be good to give my elbow a little break after two days of skiing and my legs are starting to feel a little tired after so much one pole skiing. We will also be making the trek to Kuusamo tomorrow afternoon. My teammates will all be competing in their first World Cups of the season over the weekend. I'm excited to do some more two pole skiing and cheer them on in the races!


  1. Really cool following your blog, Sophie! Hope the recovery finishes up nicely :) Good luck!

  2. Wishing you the best of luck--I already know that you've done the training and other prep. Go get 'em, Soph.