Holmenkollen venue, Oslo, Norway. It’s just too amazing! Yesterday was my first training day at the venue, and my eyes were WIDE open the whole time.
We are staying at a Radisson Blu hotel in Oslo, and the organizers arranged for shuttles that zoom back and forth to the venue every half hour, making training times very convenient and flexible.
The shuttle takes you up a winding road, and when you reach the Holmenkollen at the top, you can look down on the whole city. It’s a really cool view. The ski jump hangs up at the top, and when they light it at night, it can be seen from pretty much everywhere in Oslo.
You drive through a tunnel at the base of the jump to reach the venue, and there is a huge building with wax cabins. Team USA has four of them! It’s really professional, and our coaches and wax techs are doing such an amazing job testing and getting prepped for the first race – a skate spring – this thursday.
There’s a system to the race trails; a blue course and a red course. The blue is a 3.75km, and the red is a 6.3km with cutoffs at 2.5km and 5km. All the distance races are combinations of these loops. For example, the women’s pursuit does a 2.5km + 5km on the red, switches skis in the stadium and then proceeds to hammer out 2 loops of the 3.75km blue course.
The sprint makes a loop of the stadium and cuts part of the blue course to make a 1.3km for the women and a 1.5km for the men.
Somehow, they’re going to pack THOUSANDS into this stadium! Tickets are sold out, and the latest rumor I’ve picked up is that on relay day, there will be 40,000 people out there. Not sure if that’s true yet but I’ll find out exactly how loud it can get in Norway with the sprint race tomorrow!
There are some seriously hard core fans in Norway. I mean it! They’ve set up camps in the woods along the trail weeks before, and when you ski the trails you can see them sitting around campfires, often next to large signs declaring which athlete they’re there to cheer on.
I’m getting excited to race tomorrow! Tonight will be the opening ceremonies, and I’ll be sure to post some pictures and stories.
For those of you who didn’t hear, last weekend my computer was stolen from my hotel room in Drammen, and I lost all my pictures and documents. But luckily I’ve got some really awesome teammates, and Noah Hoffman’s been letting me use his computer and Holly Brooks has also let me borrow her computer and pictures! So I can keep updating and writing through the week 🙂