This afternoon I will start my second race of these Olympics, the 15K Skate Individual Start. I will be wearing bib 15 and will start at 3:07p.m. Korean Time, 11:07p.m. Mountain Time and 1:07a.m. Eastern Time. I included the broadcast schedule for the race in yesterday’s post, and I have copied it to the bottom of this post as well.
I am more nervous than I was for the 30K. Honestly, I have not felt great in training. However, I have had some of my best races when training has not felt good; I really haven’t found any correlation between feelings in training and in racing. My goal is to go out and put together a complete 15K effort with clean energetic skiing where I use my strength of high tempo skiing and also the skills I have built to glide and ski big as well.
I wanted to put up a blog this morning, before the race, so that I don’t feel pressure to do one this evening. I am always exhausted and not functioning at a high level after an afternoon race. I also wanted to write this morning because I have a few things on my mind.
First, I want to express my condolences to the families of the victims of the horrible shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As news of the tragedy came in yesterday, all of Team USA was subdued and saddened.
I also want to add my voice to those calling on Congress to pass gun safety regulation to take sensible steps to address the gun violence epidemic in America. I took some time in the Athlete Lounge of the Olympic Village this morning to call my two senators from Colorado, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet. In a voicemail, I asked them each to sponsor and support legislation that will make background checks mandatory for anyone purchasing a firearm, require safe storage of firearms, ban sales of bump stocks, end immunity for firearm companies and fund research into gun violence and prevention.
The second thing that I wanted to say this morning is that I have been thinking about those athletes who didn’t get a chance to come here to PyeongChang, to be on this Olympic Team. Sports are not always fair and opportunities are not always given equally. Many athletes who have worked as hard as I have, who care as much as I do, who shared my dreams of being an Olympian, did not get named to this team because the chips did not fall their way. It is a bit risky for me to name individuals because I know I will leave somebody out, but I feel compelled to mention a few who have been on my mind a lot: my two summer training partners, Tad Elliot and Kris Freeman, my good friends Eric Packer and Brian Gregg, APU’s David Norris and my friend Chelsea Holmes… I miss you all over here, and I think the world of you.
I don’t have many pictures since my last post. I enjoyed playing around with Erik Bjornsen’s new camera last night.
Here is the picture from the camera.
As usual, I watched some Olympic events last night in the Athlete Lounge with other members of Team USA. It is a really fun group to watch with!
I’m off to race! Here’s the broadcast schedule:
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH — MEN’S 15K FREESTYLE
ON COMPUTER NBCOlympics.com and NBC SPORTS PHONE APP — LIVE STREAMING AT 1:00am EST
ON TV NBCSN – 2:40am EST and 11:00pm EST
LATER IN THE DAY ON NBC
3:00pm EST – 5:00pm EST