Is it weird if one of the things I was most excited about this week was going out to a movie with my teammates? I guess it shows that sometimes we really need a life outside of skiing, since the movie got out late and we had a real debate about whether or not to go! Geez. But I’m really psyched that we went out, because I just love “team Tuesdays” and I had wanted to see the Hunger Games movie for a long time. Now that I’ve admitted my dork-iness, lets move on to life here in Lillehammer!
The courses here are really challenging. Well, every World Cup venue has challenging courses, and it depends what you define as “really hard”, but there are no flat sections here except for the finishing stretch, and the start lanes. The course twists and loops around, and although it can tire you out quickly if you don’t train slowly, I think it’s really fun! Since I honestly don’t have a whole lot of classic finesse, a straight up hard course might help me out! There are tons of transitions and twisting corners, but in the softer and slower snow it’s not scary.
All the coaches were telling us that they saw Silvio Fauner skiing around the course…and if you haven’t head of him, he was the anchor leg for the Italian men’s 4×10 relay team in the 1994 Olympics here in Lillehammer. He beat out the Norwegian anchor Bjorn Dahlie in a crazy sprint finish, and apparently the entire crowd went silent. I was kind of surprised that Silvio wasn’t just skiing up and down the finishing stretch, doing drag sprints 🙂 Anyways, it’s pretty inspiring to be skiing on a course where so much XC history went down!
For the first time in, well, maybe forever, the US has enough girls over here to start not one but TWO relay teams. I am pretty over the moon about it! Imagine – DOUBLE the face paint and glitter! I’d better start prepping for this today 🙂
While I’m getting all excited about the upcoming relays, if you’re psyched on the race season too and want to show it, please check out these two challenges (Stillwater, I’m looking at YOU!) One is a poster challenge by the US Ski Team – just take a fun team photo with your club and send it in! Here are the crucial details, and more can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ussa-nordic/us-cross-country-ski-poster-championships-january-1-8-2014/605195172860530
Instructions: Get your team or club together for a photo shoot and email your high resolution photo to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight MST on Dec 31, 2013. A club may submit one full club poster in addition to a poster for each of its many teams – Youth, Post Graduate, EliteTeam, Masters, etc. The poster must clearly display the name of the club or team and a slogan. USSA will print out one 11” x 18” copy of each poster to hang on display at U.S. Cross Country Championships in January at Soldier Hollow.
The second challenge is a T-shirt design contest for the T2 team! I’ll end up wearing the shirt that gets picked, probably all year long, so make a sweet design! 🙂 Here are the details: The design should include the T2 logo and have an Olympic theme. Note that the design will be printed on a T-Shirt, and should work in both color as well as black and white. Please use an 8.5 x 11” piece of paper for hand-drawn designs. The design may also be computer generated. The contest will run from December 10, 2013 through January 1, 2014.
Attach the design (as a PDF file; scan into computer if hand drawn) to an email and send to T2.Foundation.Contest@gmail.com. Additionally, please post your design to our Facebook page. The winner will be selected by whichever posts receives the most “likes,” and in the case of a tie by judge discretion. The winner will be announced via our Facebook page on January 5th, and the winning design will be turned into a T-shirt, the sales of which will help fund our athletes. The artist of the winning design will receive one of the t-shirts, as well as a prize from Neve Clothing.
Also, if you’ve never checked out Reese Hanneman’s photos, you really should. He’s a ski racer and is a really talented photographer, and last fall he was kind enough to do a lifestyle shoot with me! Here’s a link to his page: http://engineroommedia.net/
Ok, as if I didn’t just dish out a million different links to look at, in case you’re checking this at work and need a 2:32 minute distraction to make you smile, look at this last tidbit below!
To end the post, I need to share with you this awesome little YouTube video by NBC. While at the USOC Media Summit this fall, we were asked to do a lot of singing and dancing, but being a XC skier I didn’t think they’d actually use our footage. Only they did, and Kikkan, the combiners Billy, Taylor and Bryan, Andy, Liz and I all made the video! See if you can find us in “The 12 Days of Sochi”: