I am so happy to be back in the mountains, back at the Kulm (hotel), back at altitude, back in the sun, back in Davos and back to someplace a little cheaper than Norway. I got a wonderful hot chocolate with breakfast this morning.
We had an early morning (5:45) departure from Lillehammer today. Many other teams were also on our schedule. Breakfast opened at 5:30, so everyone threw their luggage in the lobby then went to grab a bite. World Cup athletes don’t travel light.
It was a snowy race in Lillehammer today.
Yesterday evening dinner was overwhelmingly crowded when the dining hall in our hotel here in Lillehammer, Norway opened at 7 p.m. I did not want to deal with the crowd, so I grabbed a piece of bread and came back for dinner after our 8 O’clock team meeting.
I forget how much I like fresh snow, even when I can’t go powder skiing. It snowed almost all day yesterday, and I really enjoyed walking around in it.
On the five minute jog from our hotel to the gym here in Lillehammer we cross a turf soccer field. Soccer is huge in Norway. The field is plowed, so people can play all winter. I love soccer, but playing on an icy field when it’s dark and zero-Fahrenheit sounds brutal.
The food at our hotel (Radisson Blu) here in Lillehammer is wonderful. We get lox at every meal.
Yesterday was an extremely busy day. First, thank you all so much for the incredible messages and support I got after Sunday’s race! I received more e-mails, calls and messages than I can handle. I am trying to stay on top of it, but it case I miss your message, thank you! I am honored to represent the U.S. (and international) ski community.
Not to be disrespectful to everybody else, but the best message I got was from Carly Debenham. Carly and her husband Alex Moore are two of my best friends and I have known their three beautiful daughters since they were born. Carly sent this from Australia:
I’ll start with the race today because I am very excited.
Today was the third and final day of the Ruka Triple, the opening weekend of World Cup racing here in Kuusamo, Finland. I was inspired before my start by watching my teammate Kikkan Randall ski to a fifth place finish in the ladies’ tour. Kikkan keeps getting better and better. Liz Stephen and Jessie Diggins also had great races. Both were top-10 in the “winner of the day” race.
I didn’t feel great warming up for my race. It was cold out this morning.
There is not very much daylight here in Kuusamo. Here’s a picture off our balcony with a view of the course and the just-brightening sky at 8:30 this morning: