Sunday, February 14, 2010

My first Olympic Bib.... plus, the village (and my race schedule)

It's the eve of my first race:

I'm bib #50.... starting at 10:25. The seeded racers (the 20 fastest) usually start last but due to the unpredictable weather conditions, they are starting 10 skiers in.  In the men's biathlon race earlier today some of the fastest skiers were  sabotaged when it started to snow towards the end of the race and the snow slowed down considerably.  This is all part of the unpredictability of Whistler. Sometimes it may be in your favor, sometimes it will work against you.... this morning they actually salted the course (literally) and the conditions were just the opposite. In places I thought it was TOO hard. Have you ever been skiing on bulletproof corduroy and your ski gets stuck in a rut?  Anyways, I'm confident that it will be great out there tomorrow!

Some of you have been asking - "What other races are you doing?"  Here is my schedule as it stands now:

Tomorrow - 10k Individual start skate race
Wednesday 2/17 - Classic sprint
Friday 2/19 - 15k Pursuit (1/2 classic, 1/2 skate + transition time)

I hope to compete in the women's 4x5k relay race on the 25th and the 30k mass start classic on the 27th. But, the coaches won't be naming those starters until they see how we are skiing in the first couple of races.  We want to make sure that THE fastest racers represent the US here!

Speaking of represent, CONGRATULATIONS to the Nordic combined boys who finished 2nd, 4th, and 6th today.  Johnny Spillane made an awesome move with 1/4k to go and took the silver medal - the first Nordic Combined medal in US history! For more info on the Nordic combined guys, check out this link.  Right now those guys are on a private Learjet on their way back to Park City for training before flying BACK here for their next race! (Compton just googled Learjet statistics and it can hold 9 passengers which includes the toilet which is a certified seat?)

On another note, here are a couple of pictures from the athlete village:

This is "HOME" for now.  We share it with a couple of smaller countries including Australia and Great Britain. 

Here is another style of lodging: 

It's pretty sweet because everyone has flags or country-specific decorations on their buildings. 

Apparently the Vancouver organizing committee felt the need to house Norway in a trailer due to the country's long-standing lead in the winter Olympic medal count.  (They are serious about their "own the podium" campaign.......)

Just kidding.  Actually, there are a few trailers for over-flow support staff :) 

Here are a bunch of the blue-coat Olympic volunteers have a jam session outside of the Olympic village "living room."  The volunteers have been absolutely AWESOME. They are all super friendly and patient. Kudos to them. I feel like I actually saw a statistic somewhere saying that there have been 25,000 volunteers involved in this effort? That is IMPRESSIVE. 

This is the Vitamin Water bar... you can try ALL flavors if you wish :)  There are also coke and powerade machines everywhere and you only have to "wave" a little tag in front of the machine and whatver you want will fall... 

There are "bat-phones" where you can call anywhere in the world for free... also an arcade where you can play dance, dance revolution or pin ball - it's all here. 

Hand sanitizer is a HUGE theme here at the Games. These stations are EVERYWHERE.  I think you have to walk by 8 separate dispensers walking into the dining hall. There is also a handy sign which gives you 8 steps of instructions in case you forget HOW to rub your hands together?!

There are also some subliminal messages hiden in the village rockery... 

Alright - that's it for now. Time for bed. I have a big day ahead of me. Can't wait to see Rob and my family out there!!!! 

Good night, 
Holly :) 

My deepest condolences

I just got word that there were two fatal avalanches in Alaska yesterday.  One up Hiland road and one on the Kenai Peninsula. Not all of the names have been released but we do know that Jim Bowles, President of Conoco Phillips Alaska was one of the victims.  My heart goes out to everyone involved in this tradjety, the families, the Conoco employees, and all of the friends that are left behind to deal with this accident.

Under Jim's leadership Conoco has been a wonderful contributor to cross country skiing in Alaska.  For the past two years they have been the title sponsor for US Nationals at Kincaid Park, they have been a long time sponosor of the APU program, and they have recently jumped on board to help my Olympic pursuit.

Avalanches scare me to death - as many of you know, my husband Rob was buried for ten minutes in a small slide last year in British Columbia. Luckily I wasn't there to witness it but it was still a very difficult experience for me.

My condolences to everyone affected by these slides.  My heart goes out to you.