Korea!

I’m exhausted but super excited to be in Korea! In the lead-up to coming here, I’ve been busy, I haven’t been thinking about the Games much, and I’ve even been a little blasé about the whole thing. I’ve been to the Olympics before, what’s all the hype about? It’s just another ski race, right?! Nope. It is certainly not “just another ski race”. Now that I’m here, there are reminders everywhere that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a lifelong dream and a serious honor to be a part of Team USA. I’m surprising myself with how happy I am to be here. I am jittery with energy and anticipation. I feel like I’m 18 again, arriving at my first World Junior Championships. I don’t remember feeling quite this amount of ecstasy when arriving in Sochi.

On Thursday afternoon I left Sun Valley, Idaho, where I’ve been training for the last 3+ weeks. I took a short flight to San Francisco.

I had a casual night at an airport hotel near SFO before meeting up with my teammate Ida Sargent yesterday (Friday) morning for a flight to Seoul. As a US Olympic Committee sponsor, United Airlines treated me and my 70lbs ski bag (20 pairs) very well. For the long flight, we were on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the baggage handler, pictured below, pick a creative spot to rest during his break. (Can you spot him?)

As we took off over the Pacific Ocean, we had a spectacular view of the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Many hours later I looked out on the snowy Honshu (main) Island, Japan.

Flying into Seoul, I was struck by the same thing that I remember thinking last year when I flew in for the test event: there are no small buildings. The city seems to be made up entirely by massive high-rise complexes surrounded by undeveloped land.

The flight felt easy but it was still nice to touch down after 12.5 hours in the air.

The first thing we did upon landing was activate our Olympic Credentials.

We then got to use the Olympic customs line (which meant absolutely no line) before we were greeted by several US Olympic Committee and PyeongChang Organizing Committee officials. Our ski bags were taken from us and sent directly to the wax cabins. Our duffels were sent straight to the Olympic Village. They will be waiting for us in our rooms when we arrive. We headed to an airport hotel with just small overnight bags. Ida and I went for a run before dinner. We are the first US cross-country athletes here. Many others get in tomorrow. After dinner we joined the Snowboard Team for the mandatory Team USA Ambassador Program.

Meeting and spending time with athletes from other sports is one of my favorite things about the Olympics. It was fun to take this evening’s class with some old friends (like Ryan Stassel) and some of Team USA’s biggest stars (like Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim).

This will be our only night in Seoul. We will go through Olympic Processing (essentially uniforming) tomorrow morning before taking the bus to PyeongChang.