I'll write more later in a complete post World Champs update but for now, I wanted to share some pictures from the last three days. The weather finally cleared in Oslo and the venue, racing, and the experiece is ten times better in the sun!! Over 100,000 spectators were estimated at EACH race over the past two days. There is tons of tradition behind the 30/50k plus it was the weekend. Check this out:
Reindeer skins sold at Intersport (think Norwegian REI) for watching races!
Chainsaw carvings of skiers downtown... so sweet!
Therese after smashing the competition, including Bjorgen yesterday
Just another scene at the venue
Me and my mom! Thanks for coming to cheer me on! During the 30k she got all the spectators around her to chant my name as I passed by!
A typical Norwegian parent at the races....
A homemade "Sausage" hat..... (A popular Norwegian skier) I'll just leave it at that....
A great reunion with Frode and Sean Lillefjell - Frode was an APU coach for years - they now live in Norway with their three boys
Frode and Erik
We started off the great day with a trip to the top of the JUMP! Apparently people have been jumping on this site since 1892?!
Looking down the jump.... can you imagine? I can't....
Me and Rob at the top!
Farra, Noah & Liz
"Fan Art" on the side of the trail.....
More fan art... same artist
My "recovery ski" this morning was perhaps one of the most amazing things I've ever done. This scene is at the 5k turnaround - as FAR AS YOU CAN GET FROM THE STADIUM! Thousands of people cheered me on as I tried to keep it level one. It was INCREDIBLE.
Amongst the crowd I even found my AK friends. See the person in the hamock in the upper left hand corner? People were hanging out in the tops of trees with trumpets, the course was filled in smoke from campfires.... Reese - someone was even rocking the techno "Barbara Streisand" song in the middle of the race yesterday!
Sweet view from the course...
Oslo written on the jump in traditional tree branches
Watching the 50k with my freshman year of college coach, Eli Brown!
Waxing facilities/athlete lounge with roof-top deck
Feed zone craziness
The pack heading out on the blue loop
Watching the race
Pete & Kikkan
Eli getting a feed to last minute 50k addition Billy D!
NRK Blimp (for cool aerial footage)
That's a wrap for now! It's hard to believe the Championships are over but I'm pretty excited to have the opportunity to continue my European racing experience by way of being the Super Tour leader. Tomorrow morning we head to Lahti, Finland for the last regular season World Cups. After that, it's to Sweden for World Cup Finals. A Stockholm downtown sprint and a mini-tour in Falun are on the schedule. After Sweden, it's straight to Sun Valley for Spring Nationals/Super Tour finals. I feel pretty darn lucky!
Thanks so much to everyone who has sent nice emails and comments! I miss you all! Good luck to those racing the Tour of Anchorage (right now!!) and all the Alaskans getting ready to compete at JOs this upcoming week!
Wishing everyone all the best,