Aspen Sendoff Party

Despite the looks from the title of this post, I’m not in Aspen. I’m in Toblach, Italy preparing for the last World Cup race before the Olympic Games. However, last night was an Olympic Sendoff party in Aspen hosted by the Aspen Skiing Company. I am very sad to have missed it, but I feel included because of all the stories and pictures I’ve received from the event. Out of the 4 Aspen athletes competing in Sochi, only Torin Yater-Wallace (ski halfpipe) was able to attend the event. The rest of us (myself, my teammate Simi Hamilton and figure skater Jeremy Abbott) were represented by family members. Here’s a picture of all the representatives on stage from Mary Hatanaka. (All of my pictures of the event are from Mary.)

Aspen Olympic Sendoff Party

My parents represented me onstage. (It appears from the pictures that they brought a poster of me with them. I am mortified.)

Mike and Sharon Hoffman at Aspen Olympic Sendoff Party

Here is my mom giving a little speech:

Sharon Hoffman Giving Speech at Aspen Olympic Sendoff Party

Simi was represented by his mom Ruthie Brown and stepfather Al Byer, both of whom are coming to cheer us on in Sochi. I’m excited to see them.

Ruthie Brown and Al Byer at Aspen Olympic Sendoff Party

Here’s Torin. I’m glad one of us athletes was able to attend.

Torin Yater-Wallace at Aspen Olympic Sendoff Party

The Aspen Skiing Company gave a beautiful belt buckle to each of us.

Olympic Belt Buckle from Aspen Skiing Company

I’m very excited to get to use it.

Noah Hoffman Olympic Belt Buckle

I am so grateful to the Aspen Skiing Company for hosting the event, my parents for attending in my stead and the community of Aspen for the incredible support. I am disappointed I could not be there in person, but I feel very connected from across the ocean.

I had a good very basic training day here in Toblach. Even though Italian breakfasts are generally limited, this is our second hotel in a row with the option to boil your own eggs. I really like this feature because I like my eggs very soft.

Breakfast in Toblach, Italy Egg Boiler

The entire Olympic team is here in Toblach, and it feels like a big group relative to what we had last week.

Big U.S. Ski Team Group in Toblach, Italy

It dumped snow all day.

Dumpin Snow in Toblach, Italy

I waited to train till the afternoon and the stadium was empty.

Empty Stadium in Toblach, Italy

The swirling wind made it nasty to be outside.

Swirling Wind in Toblach, Italy Wax Cabins

Luckily the groomer went out just before I got on the trails, and I had perfect tracks.

Perfect Tracks in Toblach, Italy

I skied with my technique coach Zach Caldwell.

Zach Caldwell Skiing in Toblach, Italy

Zach is from Putney, Vermont and is here as a guest technician for the U.S. Ski Team at the Olympics. I am very glad he’s here because I needed to revisit my classic technique. Zach generally travels to one race series each winter, and I always ski better when he’s around. He is incredible at bringing my focus to the right thing to get me to ski fast. He’s a little tired after travelling over here two days ago and was working hard to keep up with me today.

Zach Caldwell Working Hard in Toblach, Italy

As I was walking back from the stadium to the hotel, I saw this banner promoting Cortina, Italy’s bid to host the 2019 Alpine World Championships. Cortina is 30 kilometers from here. The “queen” stage of the Tour de Ski every year starts in Cortina and finishes in Toblach.

Cortina Alpine World Championships Banner

Next year’s Alpine World Championships will be held in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado. I am proud that Colorado is hosting a major FIS championship, and I wish I could watch.

After my ski this afternoon I played cribbage with my teammate Ida Sargent. We enjoyed the delicious snacks I received yesterday from Mark Doughty and family.

Cribbage and Snacks in Toblach, Italy

Lastly, Kikkan Randall got her hair re-dyed today in preparation for the Olympics. Here’s the “before” shot:

Kikkan Randall Pre-Hair Dye Shot

And the “after” shot:

Kikkan Randall Post-Hair Dye

15 thoughts on “Aspen Sendoff Party

  1. Your proud parents did an amazing job representing you in Aspen yesterday!! Good luck this weekend.

  2. Noah,
    I am so proud of you and will be cheering you on. You’re an inspiration and I always believed in YOU and still do. Go Noah!!!
    Debbie
    xox

  3. You enjoy the fruits of your labor and we enjoy the blog updates. Good to see you turned out so well.
    allez allez
    Your short term lol cycling coach, Jeff

  4. You have turned me into a Nordic Groupie! I read your blog everyday and love it. It makes me feel like I kinda know what life is like for an olympic athlete on the road. I show it to my Kindergarten class every other day or so, and they are learning everyones names. We talk about eating healthy, doing your best and never giving up. It is really cute.
    We are all rooting for you, Simi and the awesome chicks on sticks from the US Team. But no matter the outcome, you are an OLYMPIAN and that is such an AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENT !!!
    Lots of love, strength,and speed coming at ya from the Wille Family and Miss Beth’s Kindergarten at Aspen Elementary! GO NOAH!!! (Please send Sim a hug from me.)

  5. I have to admit I have become a Noah blog groupie as welll. Really enjoy the photo updates and news from the world cup circuit. So excited for the US ski team such wonderfully talented athletes and very fine human beings

  6. One of my favorite pictures yet… Bird and Zach at the breakfast table. Big things brewing. It’s like an old western where all the good guys join up before riding down main street for the big gunfight (and yes that’s an American stereotype 🙂

  7. Your battle between flat out effort and calculating tactics may just hit the perfect mix in the near future! Thank you so much for sharing the ride!

  8. We’ve got two favorite songs in the house these days… “Simi on the way” by Rusted Root and “what does the Hoff say” by Ylvis. After watching the Aspen XC Boys video Simi put on YouTube we can’t go back! Good luck this weekend!!!

  9. You have said three times this season, I think,that you “luckily were training behind the groomer.” I hypothesize that, given the frequency of occurance, that luck had little to do with it. Come on, man. Admit that you lie in wait of the snowcat to ski in those perfect tracks! 😉 Godspeed!

  10. Hi Noah, we’ve never met but I’ve heard and read a lot about you. It’s quite an accomplishment you’ve already made just getting to where you are. Representing the USA is something that you should be very proud of and is quite an honor.
    Best of luck!!
    Dave

  11. I’m so glad that my Cousin, Judy Furler sent me this e-mail of the blog. I know that with your determination that you will be “THE BEST OF THE BEST” Go USA.

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