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:
We have a huge group of athletes and staff here in Kuusamo. It’s exciting to be one of the “big teams” on the World Cup. Here is our team meeting last night:
Although I have mentioned it briefly a couple of times on this blog, I am very excited to officially announce my new partnership with Thoughtforms Corporation Builders. Thoughtforms will be my hat sponsor and the title sponsor of this blog for this Olympic season. Thoughtforms is a building company focused on high-end custom homes in the Boston, Massachusetts area. You can learn more about Thoughtforms on their website here. (They will be re-launching their website sometime in December and will share a lot more about their business and what makes them tick, including how I “fit”. I will let you know when their new website is live.)
I understand, as do the people at Thoughtforms, that there is not an obvious connection between a cross country skier from Colorado, on the U.S. Ski Team, living in Utah and competing almost exclusively in Europe and a building company in New England. However, I believe we share some very important and fundamental values that make our partnership the right thing. We are both pursuing excellence and we both try to make meaningful contributions to the communities that support us.
A bit more about Thoughtforms: they focus on environmentally sustainable building, also known as Green Building, and try to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations wherever possible. As a winter sports athlete, the effects of climate change are clear in year to year comparisons at different venues around the globe. Sustainable development and public policy focused on sustainability are important issues for me. I am excited for the opportunity to work with Thoughtforms in highlighting sustainable building practices as a model for future construction.
I enjoy seeing interesting, thought provoking, functional and quality building and architecture as I compete around the world. I am honored to work with a company that values quality and has built some amazing landmarks and buildings. Check out this page for some of their cool institutional projects. Institutional work isn’t their focus, but they do some work in this area when there is a chance to build a community space that gives people a place to build their bodies, minds and spirit – think “community pool facility, daycare facilities and museums, and places of worship”.
In short, I am proud to represent a company that values their relationships with their clients and community over their bottom line.
Yesterday afternoon was the biannual World Cup athlete meeting led by our athlete representatives to the International Ski Federation (FIS). Currently our athlete reps are Norwegian Øystein Pettersen and my teammate Kikkan Randall. Unfortunately Øystein didn’t arrive in Kuusamo in time for the meeting so Kikkan had to lead it on her own. She did a great job.
I had strength yesterday afternoon in the very busy gym here at the Ruka Resort in Kuusamo, Finland. For my warm-up I was stuck using the worst kind of spin bike.
If the new sponsor logos on this site are huge and clearly formatted incorrectly, please reset the cached version of this site in your browser’s settings to see the new formatting. I’m very excited with the new look and layout of the site. Thanks to Zach Caldwell of Caldwell Sport for coming up with the layout and Bryan Hoffman (no relation) at Spigot Design in Park City for building the new look!
It’s nice to be back on the World Cup! I remember how new and incredible everything about the World Cup seemed during my first period over here in fall of 2010. Now everything seems so normal and familiar. It is almost comforting to see the logos and sponsor banners, t.v. crews and wax buses.