I was saving this post for a rainy day! (and it’s been raining quite a bit lately). I realize that Oslo was quite a while ago, but I didn’t get a chance to ever post some of the pictures I took because my computer was stolen in Drammen – and my access to pictures along with it. And there are some cool stories and awkward situations to go with the pictures that I wanted to share. Hopefully you’ll get a kick out of it!
Before we got to Oslo for the World Champs, the team got together in Drammen for a World Cup race. It was my first world cup and I was pretty much over-the-moon-excited for it. And the city – WOW! It was so cool to be able to go on such a gorgeous warm-up run before heading to the race course. The picture below shows where the sprint in Drammen goes when they do the race in the city; up and around the church. Pretty scenic venue.
But, this year the sprints were at the regular race venue up above the city. Why? Because it was the 200th anniversary of the city (I got the rundown from the dude driving me back from training one day) and part of the big celebration was the World Cup races (see how cool Norway is? They use SKI RACES to celebrate the city’s anniversary!). Anyway, they wanted to get more people up to the ski trails so they had all the races up there. Plus, it would be much harder to have skate sprints on narrow streets. There were also some Norwegians walking around in what I can only assume were traditional clothes as part of the celebration – but I didn’t snap a picture because I didn’t want to be the “rude American”. My neon clothes already do that for me! 🙂
It still amazes me that Nordic skiing is Such A Big Thing in Europe and that it’s on TV! So, naturally, I waded through some snowbanks to get a picture of the camera crew at the World Cup in Drammen. They turned aroud and saw me, being the typical gawky American teenager with the camera out, and started laughing and then posing for the camera. I turned bright red and tried to beat a hasty retreat, but I was kinda stuck in the snow. How embarrassing.
Okay, I had to include this next picture because….well, because it’s kinda ridiculous! Get your priorities straight, woman! She stuck her DOG on top of her BABY? I mean, it’s a cute dog and all, but still….at least she’s walking to spectate at the World Champs. So I really shouldn’t care how she transports her child and dog in the process. 😉
Another super cool and fun part of being at the World Champs was the opportunity to meet the American Ambassador to Norway. He and his wife live in this super gorgeous house that happened to be at the end of an overcrowded street. Because everyone in Europe drives fuel-efficient cars, they don’t plan on huge buses needing to get through. Our poor driver looked SO nervous as we started down street – and rightly so, as his job was probably on the line should he happen to wreck a car – but he stopped as he realized it wasn’t a good idea. Then we all got a little nervous as we realized we couldn’t back out the way we came. In the end, we made it through (after hearing rubber squeal as we scraped a tire) and gave the bus driver a huge round of applause. That poor man probably resigned the next day. 😉
I’d like to give a LARGE shoutout to the Chilkoot Velo bike team – formerly known as the Bikery team. They’re a group of bikers based out of Stillwater Area that range from pro to beginner, and all share the love of biking, outdoor action and great coffee from the Bikery (a bike shop with a seriously good cafe). A lot of these guys are also avid nordic skiers and were kind enough to make me an honorary member of the team, so I wanted to get a picture with the jersey in Oslo.
But the real story is in how I got to be in the media zone to take this picture in the first place! If you know me at all, you know just HOW MUCH I love cheering for me teammates. It’s pretty dang important to me. And I like to get all up in people’s faces too – I didn’t want to hang back in the crowd. Pretty hard to do in Oslo though, when there are thousands of people and certain credentials needed to get onto the race trails. So I decided it’d be better to act first and ask forgiveness later.
I elbowed my way right into the media zone where lots of dudes with super fancy big cameras were getting set up. I thought about whipping out my camera to try to blend in, and realized it was a really dumb idea since the oversized American flag I was sporting gave me away no matter what. Then one of the course officials walked up and I got kinda nervous, but when I explained that it was SUPER important for me to be able to cheer and I PROMISED not to get in the way (and I was totally prepared to suck it up and beg if that’s what it took to stay on the trailside), he said ok and walked away. Probably just didn’t want to deal with me.
So I got to wave the flag and yell and cheer and dance around on the racecourse as the US and Canadian women zipped by, and you know what? I’m pretty sure they heard me! Hah. And THEN I got kicked out.
Sadie and I went to go see the ski jumping comp after the relay, and she had some friends in the crowd so we went looking for them. We didn’t see them, but we DID get to see some pretty daring ski jumping through the fog as well as a snow castle built for kids on the side of the venue. Just because it was for kids didn’t stop us from checking it out, though!
So now I’m starting to get back into the swing of things again – our first CXC camp starts on Monday and I’m excited to get back with the team!