Olympic Village Life

I got up to skiing yesterday afternoon just as my teammates who are sprinting today were finishing their pre-race ski. They are all feeling good and psyched to race. Here is Sophie Caldwell:

Sophie Caldwell Pre-Olympic Sprint Day

Kikkan Randall is getting a lot of attention from the media and deservedly so. She’s won the FIS World Cup Sprint Globe for two years in a row and is the favorite to win today’s sprint. Here she is giving an interview after her ski yesterday afternoon.

Kikkan Randall Giving Pre-Olympic Sprint Interview

She was psyched when she was back in the wax room.

Kikkan Randall Psyched Pre-Olympic Sprint

I had a good easy classic ski with my coach Zach Caldwell. I was tired from Sunday’s race. We weren’t getting a lot of technique work done, so we didn’t even make it 20 minutes on the snow. It was a really nice day. Here’s a look from our venue across the valley to the Olympic Alpine Venue.

Olympic Alpine Venue from Cross Country Venue

Here’s the daily dose of the Olympic rings.

Olympic Rings With Mountains Behind in Sochi, Russia

Here is German skier Tim Tscharnke:

Tim Tscharnke Skiing in Sochi, Russia Olympic Venue

The Germans have installed a weather station on the roof of their wax cabin.

Weather Station on Roof of German Wax Cabin Olympics

It’s a good thing they got a second story container.

German Wax Cabin on Second Story of Olympic Waxing Compound

Holly Brooks changed it up at dinner last night by bringing her own salsa and creating a little Mexican feast. It looked delicious. Mexican is one nationality of food that they don’t have in the dining hall. Holly was generous enough to share, but it was just a teaser. Mexican food is far and away the inanimate object I miss most about home.

Holly Brooks Mexican Feast in Olympic Dining Hall

After dinner last night, USSA Communications Director Margo Christiansen and I took a shuttle up to the biathlon stadium to do an interview request from Russia TV1.

Noah Hoffman Russia TV1 Interview

It was one of five interviews I did yesterday, most stemming from this blog. The people from TV1 were super nice and wanted a picture with me afterwards.

Noah Hoffman Picture with TV1

Plus going to the interview gave me the chance to check out the stunning biathlon stadium at night.

Olympic Biathlon Stadium at Night

When I got back to my room I noticed this box on the wall. I’m sure it’s been there all week and I just haven’t noticed it.

Box On Wall In Sochi Olympic Village

It’s mounted above my bed. I’m not going to speculate about what it’s for.

Mounted Box Above Noah Hoffman's Olympic Bed

I didn’t ski today. Instead I met my strength coach Michael Naperalsky, the same one I work with all summer in Park City, for an easy session in the gym. It gave me a chance to check out the village exercise facilities. There is a full size basketball court.

Olympic Village Basketball Court

And the weight room was exceptional. It may be the nicest (not fanciest) gym I’ve ever been to outside the States.

Super Nice Olympic Strength Room

There was even a climbing wall, though it’s not open this week.

Climbing Wall in Olympic Strength Room

While I was in the gym I noticed that one of the TV stations, a news channel, was broadcasting pictures from my blog. It was a little odd to see on T.V.

Noah Hoffman's Blog on Russian T.V.

It was really nice to have Michael with me to critique my technique and tell me what to emphasize in each exercise.

Michael Naperalsky Critiquing Noah Hoffman's Back Extension

It was also fun to catch up with Michael since I haven’t seen him in four months.

Michael Naperalsky in Olympic Gym

He did a little lifting himself.

Michael Naperalsky Lifting in Olympic Gym

After the session we went to check out the game room.

Ping Pong Table in Olympic Game Room

It was awesome. It had all of my favorite games.

Pool Table in Olympic Game Room

Michael was into the arcade side.

Michael Naperalsky in Olympic Arcade Room

We played two games of air hockey. I got him both times, but we were a good match.

Close Olympic Air Hockey Score

I just finished watch in the Olympic sprint qualifier.

Watching Olympic Sprint Qualifier from Olympic Village

All of the U.S. ladies plus Simi Hamilton and Andy Newell qualified for the heats which begin in 30 minutes. I’m headed up there to watch, and I’m so excited. I want to post one more time that it’s been since the Innsbruck Olympics in 1976 that the U.S. has won an Olympic medal in cross country skiing. Hopefully that will change this afternoon.

If you’re in the U.S. you can watch it now on the NBC Sports Network or on NBC in their daytime coverage.

62 thoughts on “Olympic Village Life

  1. Nice blog. Very interesting to read. Write more 🙂 Do you know any others blogs of your teammates? That’s realy interesting to read about us.

    • Oleg — you can go to the American cross country ski news website: www (.) fasterskier (.) com. Look on the left side lower down the page and you’ll see a number of the US athletes’ blogs, plus some Canadians (both xc and biathlon). They’re interesting too.

  2. In Russia, you read a lot of people. Very nice that you do not lie about our Olympics, as many American journalists. Domestic problems happen in all countries. Good luck at the games.
    Ural. Ekaterinburg.

  3. Very nice blog! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about another side of Olympics that is not showed on TV.
    I also wonder how do you deal with different AC connector types and voltage? How do you charge all your electronics?

    • Voltage is not an issue. Most portable electronics have AC/DC adapters that can handle 115-220V (look at your phone charger). All you have to do is to get the plug adapter from flat US/China to round Euro/Russia.

  4. Greetings from St Petersburg, Russia! I am really glad you like it in the Village. Wish you all the best at the Olympics!

  5. Noah –
    Thanks so much for sharing your unique view of Sochi Olympic athlete life in your blog. I visited Russia in 1979 and remember most the warmth of the people, so it’s no surprise that they’ve gone all out to accommodate the athletes. GOOD LUCK to you and your team!

  6. Hi Noah,

    There was a compilation of your photos and comments translated to Russian in some Russian blogs, carefully selected to show the Olympics in very positive view. It makes you pretty famous in Russia, so be careful now – hopefully you won’t be accused as Russian spy 🙂

    Good Luck with coming races,

    • it’s a bit sad that an American guy honestly blogging about what he sees and experiences at the Olympics is enough to bring up the idea of him being a Russian spy…

    • Here’s my view as a Russian:

      The formula is simple: Treat us with respect and we will respond with love. This is all it takes with the Russians. Invest in being respectful and you will get so much more in return.

    • I’ve read every post so far and I don’t think you need to try very hard to select Noah’s photos and comments to show a positive view.

  7. Stumbled upon your blog via blogsochi.ru. Your blog is awesome & such an eye opening look at what is going on behind the Olympics. Plus, it helps me to explain to my kids what it takes to be an Olympian. Go you & go Team USA!!!

  8. So cool that you now have some Russian fans reading your blog too! When’s your next race? We’re rooting for you back here in Aspen and the USA!!!

  9. Way to go Noah. Everyone loves your blog! It is the best. Can’t wait to see the next race.

    You make us feel like we are there with you.

  10. Hey Noah!
    Long time no see =)
    I have been following your blog for a long time. I think it’s since i was visiting in Aspen or something. Its super nice to have an inside look into the life at the Olympics and the frequency of posts is impressive!

    Keep up the good work and all the best wishes in the upcoming races!

  11. Thank you for your wonderful blog!Thank you for telling the whole world that we are not grumpy drunk russians with bears on a leashes:) like your point of view and a positive mood of posts:) All the best at the Olympics!
    Good luck Team USA!:)

    Cheers from Moscow

    • Privet, Liza! Ha ha…that is my sister-in-law’s name, and also my wife’s aunt’s name (she actually lives in Moscow).

      We Americans do not think of Russians that way at all! Despite what the stupid mass media has demonstrated, I think the perception is VERY different. We’re also aware that our own media (and most of Europe’s for that matter) over-sensationalize just about everything. That would be like everyone else in the world thinking that all Americans only eat junk food, drink Cokes, and watch TV for 24 hrs a day; and that the USA is full of gang crime and homeless people.

      With the way the Olympics are going and how well the volunteers and Olympic staff are running things, I think the overwhelming response will be very positive toward Russia and etc. Noah Hoffman has done a very good job of describing what I think most of the American athletes and their families are experiencing.

      I think a very good book to read about what an American would observe about Russia is embodied in a book entitled “Off the Map: Bicycling Across Siberia” by Mark Jenkins. Of course, it is dated as it was written in 1989 during the last part of the Soviet era. It tells the tale of two different types of Russian people, but that the vast majority were the true heart and soul of who Russia really is (the story of the gift of 1 kg. of sugar was most poignant). At any rate, it is a good insight into how we Americans would observe and view Russia — that the truly great Russian people are beyond great and are almost inconceivably good-hearted. Things are different now, as all of that Soviet “corrosion” is not there anymore.

      I guess I only responded to your post, Liza, because I feel badly that all this negative media got out and it must a bummer for Russians to think that this is the way everyone in the world is going to view them. I think quite the opposite is the case. Most Americans have had a lot of contact with Russian people here in the USA now, and I think we can figure out what the real story is…

      • Thank you very much for your post man!

        Good luck Noah and team USA! Love your blog, I was cheering for you after I read it ))

        Warmest regards from Moscow

  12. It is so great that your blog is going viral! I am showing my first grade students your posts and they love them. You are actually scheduled to come visit my school in April (in Sherborn, MA). I was given a poster of you by a the family in town who arranged your visit and it is hanging proudly.
    Ski fast!

  13. Thanks, Noah, for another great and interesting post!

    About the “box” on the wall: I have seen boxes just like that in hotels in the US, as I am sure you have too, you just didn’t pay attention. While I can’t say for sure of course about this particular box, but typically such boxes are part of the alarm system, e.g., they blink in case of emergency and there should also be somewhere a speaker announcement system to make emergency announcements. Or they could be part of the motion detector system for conserving electricity (yes, there are hotels that have that and it can actually be quite annoying when the electricity just shuts off by itself if one sits still for a while). Don’t get paranoid about imaginary things. It’s not cold war any more – seriously, it’s not! 🙂

    It would be so interesting if you could post more pictures about different things like food or more routine. In the news they never show such things, they just show competition. But it’d be so interesting to see more of behind the scenes of what it’s like to be an olympian there. For us readers we will never have a chance to see or experience it for ourselves, so it is so interesting! 🙂


  14. Thanks for the blog, Noah! Seems like lots of ppl from all over the world are just hooked on it! Well,- i am))
    Thank you for the honesty and respect! Keep it running and good luck!!
    Cheers from Seattle and.. GO SEAHAWKS!

  15. Noah,

    Thanks so much for this blog. Wishing you good luck from Chicago. Best wishes to you, the rest of American athletes and excellent professional American sports commentators!

    No love though for political speculators and other toilet-level journalists.


    Good Luck! I will be cheering for you!

  16. this white plastic piece on the wall,part alarm or smoke sensor,to eliminate the fire. anyway,I have seen such in Russia in hotels. and I really doubt that the FSB planted there listening device. in principle,if they wanted to do,you could put it in different places,and where you won’t notice them and absolutely no need to hang special items on the wall,that catch the eye))… and of course,I understand your doubts. if I came to America,England,France, and probably in any country at the Olympics,or some event,as спорсмена or team serving the athletes,or personality which presumably would be interested in the exploration of another country,too, would think that there is a possibility that I was being bugged,or recorded on video(although the video,I think this is very unlikely,because the main information,I think that might be what you say,and see how your changing and other intimate Affairs,who cares?! I doubt that the special services госсударств(at least large),allow perverts and will help them to realize their violent fantasies,providing millions of hardware…the only(now thought),unless they hope you catch with someone of athletes,or even from the team ,dad having sex,for example, and drinking of alcoholic beverages,the use of doping and drugs. in this case,can really be a camera…). cold war has not ended and will never end,I think. because,strong Russia never will be beneficial to the U.S. government and the ruling there clans Jews,Бельведерскому society,and England,France. even with the emergence of England she aspired to be the leader around the world and its rulers repeatedly stated. Americans,this is the same as the British and the government of the usa,very close contacts with the Royal house,perhaps on the same level as brothers. the French government for their own interests,but won’t go into detail. and there is still mingle with the Jews and their profits. who has the greater impact on world politics,the governments of these countries,or Jews in these governments,standing behind some politicians,owners of banks and businesses,are not known yet. in General,full control,England, with its allies,is not enough control over Eastern Europe. get this control мишает Russia,because she was a strong country,able to repel their attacks,more nobody in this part of the world,yet it can.this is why there is such a struggle for Ukraine’s joining the European Union. under the terms of entering Ukraine will be obliged to remove to the maximum from the shelves of their goods and to take a lot of goods from Western Europe and America,to give the opportunity to host American troops and MISSILE defense and some conditions,all of them are not beneficial for Ukraine and cause her a great deal of damage and are very beneficial to Western Europe and the USA. if Ukraine decides to go in the EU now,and not in the Customs Union with Russia and other neighboring countries on Russia’s borders will appear American MISSILE troops and Russia will be put in very poor conditions and are forced either to make concessions to America and its alliesor come up with some radical and new ways to avoid this influence. one of the ways is likely to war. and I think probably nuclear.
    so I withdrew from the ABM issue the cold war: ) ended only видимаяя part of it. first,because an open enmity is not feasible results in a loss of the America with its allies,because Russia is one of the largest markets for them and поставщих resources, on the other, the United States government understands that in an open war Russia to overcome is not easy and even more so,if you go with real military actions (Russia won against all who intervened on its territory and was opposed to. and these opponents were strong),plus Russia and Ukraine(as a legacy from the USSR) has nuclear weapons. now employs new technologies,bloodless war. this is when there is a confrontation between the media,the impact of other ways(for example,film,celebrity,distortion of historical facts in textbooks,wiretaps and surveillance of Internet access through web pages and web sites to a large volume of information about citizens and including different firms and companies. surely you have noticed that your media say about Russia and Eastern Europe in 99% bad and very bad. so say about us media almost the rest of Europe. in American schools,as I know,learn that America has played a very important and even more important Role in the war against Fascism. although, in fact,won the Germans first of all, Russia and some of its neighbors,who had previously been members,and the role of American troops and the rest of Europe just a paltry and loss too small. in Russia killed millions of people and this country has suffered enormous material losses. moreover,America was an ally of Russia in the struggle against Hitler only formally,at the last moment they betrayed the contract and after the war in exchange for knowledge and development,took and hid in a large number of Fascists. another example of the informational war is the fact that in Japan, many of the young people today,are sure that Russia was to blame for the fact that America bombed their nuclear weapons. probably they also taught in schools). while,of course, Russia had no relation to this scandalous fact of violation of the international norms and furious unjustified brutality of the American government to the Japanese. usa then you could easily go the other weapons,but your government is likely,has decided to hold with one hand, the testing of this type of weapon,on the other hand make the act of intimidation DL the rest of the world and to Russia in the first rows) on its citizens and nationals of a competitor,or country that is profitable to get for resources,for example, Syria,Libya). and first of all,the initiators of this confrontation, the American,English,French government,but not Russian. although the Russian government in the history of this country has done is not too little mistakes,to put it mildly… and as we can see,even the underlined allies like Germany,France,England,America,and monitor actually each other and even presidents and the members of the government. so,maybe,all can be: ) also,as I said,not everything is perfect. and the conquest of the Caucasus and other land in ancient times, and the fact that Yeltsin made war in the Caucasus, and gave him to separate himself and some more stuff,this is all very bad and we now have a lot of problems because of this and our generation is very ashamed of their ancestors and have to clear up the mess… UV. it’s not a lot that I could say about the history of relations between our countries. hope it will not be uploaded. thought you might be interested and useful as a side glance.

    p.s. thank you for your blog. everything is interesting and quite detailed. some cool pictures of the mountains ,the ski tracks and some more. perhaps you still noticed some shortcomings,or something you liked or didn’t like about it. this, too, actually,it would be interesting to hear from you)) good luck in life and in this Olympics. I hope at least half of my text was available,because I used a translator)

    • Ноа явно не без еврейских корней, а ты тут про кланы разошлась, Маш. Не позорься, ага? Смех и слёзы, да.

      • а в чем позор то,собственно.. у меня подруга Польская Еврейка,у брата лучший друг Еврей,ровно так же,не доверяют Путину с Медведевым. а друг,так я бы даже сказала,ненавидит их. если мальчик нормальный,ему будет полезно для общего развития,в противном случае,тут есть другой момент

        • Тебе на Каспаров ру. Там твоя публика, а ты нацистка.

          • слушайте,я на самом деле озвучила только ситуацию в стране и мире,но забыла уточнить,что нормально отношусь ко всем нациям и более того,как я уже говорила,у меня и Евреи есть друзья.а еще Украинцы,Англичане и вообще знакомые в разных странах.поэтому,не говорите ерунды.а то,что вы не знаете,что наш президент и премьер-министр,скорее всего,работают не в интересах Русского народа,не подмечаете различных моментов(например,что недавно Путин на важном мероприятии с присутствием мировой прессы сказал,что Евреи одна из титульных наций России,но мы то знаем,что в реальности она ей никогда не являлась и в Израиле нам бы никогда не разрешили быть титульной нацией,как и любой другой,которая ей никогда не являлась и в любой другой стране. признать новую нацию титульной,если вы не знали, означает,дать ей полные права на эту страну,на управление ей и принятие всех стратегически важных решений. если для вас,все это пустой звук и вы готовы раздаривать земли всем на право и на лево,то это вам стоит задуматься вообще,над способностью разумно мыслить хотя-бы) и не имеете понятия о ситуации с некоторыми Евреями в Америке и представителями других наций там и во всем мире,вообще мировую историю,это сугубо ваше лично право и проблема. я больше не хочу засорять разборками человеку этот блог,поэтому желаю вам все удачи

  17. by the way,I don’t understand why athletes at the Olympic games do not eat any special meals. in America in General,there is some sort of diet,special vitamins,or recommendations on питаниею for athletes? than you are fed on training bases? ответтьте please Noah,if it is not difficult:)

  18. Noah, your blog is really awesome! You show olympic games from the new side for me (not only fro me) and you give us (simple people) to feel the atmosphere of the games and olympic village from inside!
    I’m vert happy i found your blog and please post more :)))))

    Love from Moscow, Russia :)))

  19. thanks for your blog! I hope you really enjoy our country. thanks for the kind words addressed to Sochi. good luck!

  20. Thank you for sharing your amazing Olympic adventure. It is very cool- the best experience that I can imagine. Good luck in your events. You are already a winner, a million times over, just to get to the Olympic stage. Congratulations on that win. Vyonne

  21. Noah — I think now that your blog has gone viral, you may want to screen comments. It’s very sad that people would use your blog to spew anti-Semitic hatred, but I guess that comes with getting 50,000 hits a day. Good luck the rest of the way!

  22. Thank you for sharing the Olympics through your eyes! Four years ago, we enjoyed following Holly Brooks’ Olympics through her experiences. We are excited that you are sharing your experiences. Thank you! And know that we are cheering for you!!

  23. Noah, your blog and the comments which follow have indeed captured the true Olympic spirit and has excited something deep within many of us to follow your journey and to cheer you on. This is to celebrate what you are doing, not only on the “field of play” so to speak, but off the field with your blog. It is as interesting to read the comments of your followers as it is your own comments.

    I would like to tell our fellow Russians that the Sochi Olympic venue looks amazing and they are to be complimented for all they have accomplished to put this great event on. I would also like to let them know that in our community, we have many Russians, as we have people of all nationalities and faiths. Many have become good friends. We are very fortunate that way.

  24. GOOD Morning Noah!
    My name is Andrey, the English have a similar name Andrew.
    I do not speak English, so took advantage of Google Translator.
    Thank you for your interesting blog. Very interesting to see inside the Olympics.
    So thanks for the true story! Tell all honestly, and what is good and what is bad. Our and your media should learn from you =).
    Sorry for the negative post of Mary (Мария). As we do, you and the world are different people. How nice and kind, and bad. There is nothing you can do about it.
      Russia is a multinational country, like the United States. And for the majority of Russian citizens no matter what the nationality of the person.
      There are certainly nationalists and intolerant people, but they are much less than good people.
    I wish you all the best and high achievement in sports!

    Greetings from the Caucasus, Stavropol region!

  25. Noah, I would like to clarify something about the вчерашего my “short” message:) I’m fine all Nations,just think that among all Nations have bad and good people and government of all countries a lot of freaks. I подуга Polish Jew,and brother,your best friend, a Jew. they are great people and we love very much and they share our concerns about our Jewish government,and what makes a bunch of Jews and moral freaks of other Nations in the world. so,please don’t be offended if I somehow could hurt. I also want to say that this is our government’s conduct of the war,but the Russians want to be friends and do not want any war with the people of the USA and other countries:) at least I think I can say for the majority of Russians and Russians. just yesterday I actively affected the historical side,but this. you did a great new report. shop filled pyjamas,it’s just a hit of the season))). I haven’t seen itself… it is interesting that for the firm and whether it does so on around the world.excuse me,what can I say attacked your blog and delivered probably the inconvenience. thank you again for such a positive opinion and coverage of the Olympic games

  26. I forgot to say.
      There is a wonderful Russian proverb, do not know how well it is translated:
    – Meet the man on clothes, and escorted to the mind!

    • Checked properly left to get better.
      Meet a man by the clothes and escorted to the mind
      Sorry for flooding

  27. Hi Noah.
    Holly Brooks writes you up to 3 hours a day to prepare the information and post to your blog. Thank you for a responsible attitude to this. You read and quoted by many in Russia and abroad. Pass your father that you are respected and Russian grateful. Comments are often difficult to read because of poor translation.So often lost meaning comments. Good luck to you and your team.

  28. Well, looks like we occupied yours blog (I mean Russians). Sorry, you know, we always cant stand to occupy something.

    Guys I think Noah and everyone else already understood that we are really upset about Olympic Games coverage, made by some western media.

    But lets give a place for another people to express there wishes to Noah.

    One more time. Thank you and Good luck Noah!

      • Зы: Ноа понял, во что вляпался и прикрыл возможность комментирования у последующих постов)))

  29. White box on the wall is a sensor alarm system. Transparent plastic the square on it is the LED work. White sphere is a Fresnel lens . Sphere helps sensor to see the movements . Most likely it Foton- 10 . For fans of fairy tales about the KGB who commented from Russia, I can say that these “bugs” do not put sensors ) for bugs in them there is no place for it and interference for the security alarm system will be . I design these security systems )))
    Noanh thanks for your blog . It was very informative and very interesting to read . We were pleased with the picture on the background the air defense system in the next news) ) ) Very brutal photo) We fan for you . Good luck at the Olympics games.
    PS : cool fox on the shelf )

  30. Thank you! Very interesting for us to look inside. Good words and pictures. Good luck with the track and in life. From the city of Yakutsk (Siberia) with hot greetings. Leonid

  31. Noah, you have great blog!
    It felt like I’ve been to Sochi myself and saw it all from my own eyes.
    Thanks for sharing!Please keep writing/blogging.
    And wish you all the best in your competition!

    Sorry you’ve got so many politically poisoned inadequate comments from Russians:
    the Internet in Russia still very turbulent and has too many trolls.

  32. Great blog Noah. You give us real insight. Best of luck for the remaining events. Pete and Mary Margaret

  33. Hi! Your blog very interesting!!
    SORRY for commented Mary’s comment(Мария)!!!!!!!!
    I am so ashamed for her!!!!!!

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