Tuesday, February 23, 2010


For the past two weeks I've been up in Whistler with my family watching the Olympics. We attended seven cross country races, five of which Holly raced, and a had a brief view of the downhill portion of the women's combined. The weather was gorgeous for the first week, sunny and warm-prefect for spectating, not as great for skiing. I've never watched so much Olympic competition in my whole life, when we're not at an event we've been watching it on TV. I think I've seen just about all of all the competitions (besides curling). It's going to be so strange to be away from all of this shortly.

My brother, Scott, always takes tons of great pictures and does write-up after trips like these, so I'm counting on him to get more of the essence and my report will be more brief. As usual, I've also been putting this off for about a week now, so I've just got to get it done.

The Olympic rings in the Whistler Village with a memorial for Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger, at the bottom.

I was very impressed with the transportation here. Not being allowed to drive or park most places, VanOC has buses running all the time. My parents rented a little townhouse just about 2 km outside of the Whistler Village, which was a perfect location. A short bus ride, or walk brought us into the village where we jumped on another bus that took us to the Whistle Olympic Park, the cross country venue. The buses ran constantly and besides being kicked out of the venue earlier then we wanted, it worked great. The volunteers were also wonderful, there were so many everywhere and were always cheery and friendly. Being from all over the US and Canada, they didn't always have the right info, but at least always had a smile.

From wehre the bus dropped us off, it was a 25 minute or so walk uphill to the venue. Here's the family walking from the bus towards the venue.

Saying a quick hello to Holly before her first Olympic race.

Holly going to the finish

A view of the stadium.

Mass start for the ladies' 15k pursuit

Another gorgeous day at the Whistler Olympic Park during the sprint heats.

Some of the Norwegian fans. I absolutely love how dressed up so many people get. The Norwegians and the Swedes, being nordic centered countries, have some of the most dedicated fans. The costumes and chants are so much fun to observe.

Holly racing under the spectator bridge before the last hill entering the stadium.

On the days we didn't attend races we've gotten some skiing of our own in. Two days of tele and two of nordic. Nordic conditions were slow and sloppy with all of this warm weather, but felt great to be out. The tele skiing was awesome, this was only my second and third times lift skiing, and first at an area like this. I was amazed at how big it is, how man lifts, the length of runs, everything was incredible! It was also perfect because there were no lift lines and we were told the slopes were empty compared to the usual crowds. Although my tele isn't good, on the second day, I felt like I was starting to get a little better.

Some of the family ready for an awesome day of telemark skiing.

Scott up top at Whistler, couldn't ask for anything better.

On another day off, we left Whistler and drove down to Squamish for a little hike. Dad wanted to go up the Grand Wall, something he'd rock climbed years back. The trail was very steep with tons of rock steps and staircases, Scott and I almost felt like we were back in the Adirondacks with the tail design. Having not hiked in a long time, especially something so steep up and down, my legs killed the next day!

Up on the Grand Wall

That evening we visited Holly in the Athletes Village. Security was tight everywhere, but especially at the athletes village where we had to be registered to get in, leave out passports at the entrance, and be out by 9 pm. Holly gave us a tour of the place. It was much like a college campus with lounges, computer labs, game rooms, medial facilities, gym, and cafeteria. We had dinner in the cafeteria while watching all of the Olympic athletes around us. It was fun seeing some of the top competitors, trying to identify which sports people were from; the bobsledders were the only obvious athletes, being nearly twice the size of anyone else.

The family on our visit to the Athlete's village.

This has been an amazing two weeks, I'm so glad that I flew back! Witnessing the best athletes in the world compete, right alongside my sister was incredible. Holly did so well and had such great support, people coming from all over the US to cheer her on. I'm so proud of her!

As great as this break has been, I'm now anxious to get back to my bike in Memphis. Now that I have no more distractions, I'm looking forward to just riding. It's time to get back in shape and finally get to the Gulf Coast!

1 comment:

  1. Great! Glad you are posting again, Robin. We have all been following your sister on her blog and it has been a fantastic experience.

    Please tell Holly how much we appreciate being able to follow her Olympic Journey. Next best thing to being there.

    I would love to hear what Dan in Memphis has to say about his experiences with ACA as a tour leader. I have also thought about doing that someday.

    Good luck to you. We look forward to following your blog again.

    Tom and Anne