Oslo

It’s nice to be back in Norway. The food is delicious, the internet is fast and the venue is the nicest in the world. The downside is that everything is so expensive. I try not to buy anything while I’m here. We’re currently staying at the Radisson Blu in Fornebu on the west side of the city.

Radisson Blu Hotel Fornebu

We would rather be staying at the Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica which is within walking distance of the venue. It is a World Cup hotel, so the organizers could get us rooms there. However, the organizers of any World Cup only have to guarantee the World Cup rate (125 Swiss Francs per person per day for lodging and meals) from Thursday through Monday of each week. Most hotels (or venues) will offer the World Cup rate for the whole week, but the Holmenkollen Park Hotel does not. If we chose to stay there all week, they would charge us full price (about $300 per night) for every night until Thursday. Of course that is cost prohibitive for us. I believe it is a flaw in the World Cup rules that they don’t have to offer the rate for the entire week because it gives an advantage to the European teams that can go home every week and not arrive at a venue until Thursday.

Consequently, we’re staying down at the Radisson Blu until Thursday when we will move up to the Holmenkollen Park. On the plus side, Fornebu is slightly closer to Drammen, Norway which hosts a World Cup sprint tomorrow. My teammates who are racing will go to Drammen for the day, and the travel is slightly less from this hotel than it would be from Holmenkollen. This hotel is variable in quality. It is in the middle of a renovation project, so some of the rooms are new and some are old. As a team we’re split between new and old. My roommate Andy Newell and I got one of the nice new hallways.

New Hallway at Radisson Blu Fornebu

The internet here is free, something I’ve learned to value at nice hotels in big European cities.

Free Internet at Radisson Blu Hotel Fornebu

The food here is delicious. They have Norwegian waffles for breakfast, so I finally got to open the maple syrup that Mark Doughty and family (from my sponsor Thoughtforms Builders) sent me before the Olympics. It was delicious.

Maple Syrup and Norwegian Waffles in Oslo, Norway

I also had Norwegian brown cheese for the first time since early December.

Norwegian Brown Cheese on Croissants in Oslo, Norway

Unfortunately the brown cheese here comes in individually wrapped slices. It is not very environmentally friendly as we went through a lot of it this morning.

U.S. Ski Team Brown Cheese Wrappers at Oslo Hotel

The sprint race in Drammen is on the city streets, so the course was not open for skiing today. (I bet the snow was being laid out today.) My teammates and I skied on the Holmenkollen trails (the site of this weekend’s long races). We were able to move into our wax room that we’ll have for the week. It’s massive.

Massive U.S. Ski Team Holmenkollen Wax Room

In addition we have a large USA athlete room. Here are Ida Sargent (left) and Caitlin Gregg.

USA Athlete Room at Holmenkollen World Cup

We were warned that there wasn’t much snow here, but those seemed to just be rumors. It was foggy but great skiing today. The normal full 8.3 kilometer race loop was open.

Foggy Skiing in Holmenkollen at Oslo

Sadie Bjornsen has been sick a ton this year. She has not gotten to race often, and it’s been really challenging for her. Hopefully she remembers that she was great in the early season when she was healthy. She’s feeling better now and is planning to race tomorrow and Sunday. Here she is training today:

Sadie Bjornsen Training in Oslo at Holmenkollen

Even though Canadian Alex Harvey is racing the classic sprint tomorrow, he chose to skate today. I suppose it doesn’t matter since there was no ski testing (because we were at the wrong venue).

Alex Harvey Skating in Holmenkollen on Drammen Pre-Race Day

Here is Erik Bjornsen being followed by Reese Hanneman during some pre-race intensity:

Erik Bjornsen Followed by Reese Hanneman in Oslo, Holmenkollen

The snow was variable with dry areas, sugary areas and wet areas. The forecast is for +5C on the weekend, so it may be warm and soft racing. It was also very punchy today. Here’s my pole on one of the occasions that it punched all the way through.

Noah Hoffman's Pole Punched Way Deep

I classic skied for the first time since the 15k at the Olympics which was 18 days ago. The technique cues that Zach Caldwell and I worked on in Sochi seemed to still be accessible today. I did 3 by 8 minutes of hard skiing to get a little training impulse and to practice skiing fast. It was a really good session.

The difference in elevation between Holmenkollen and the city (which can’t be more than 500′) makes a big difference; there is no snow in front of our hotel.

No Snow in Front of Radisson Blu Fornibu in March

Our hotel is near the Oslofjord.

Oslofjord from Radisson Blu Hotel Fornebu

I took a fun walk down to the water this afternoon.

Dock on Oslofjord Norway

The water was cold (surprise surprise).

Cold Water in Oslofjord Norway

Qualifying for the sprints in Drammen begins at 2 p.m. Central European Time tomorrow. The heats start at 4 p.m. here which is 10 a.m. on the east coast of the U.S. and 8 a.m. in the Rocky Mountains. You can stream the heats live here. I’m excited to watch my teammates though I haven’t decided if I will do so in person or on T.V.

11 thoughts on “Oslo

  1. my husband and I enjoy your blogs very much. I love the interesting pictures that you post. I really get a feel for how you are living. We loved following you at the Olympics!

  2. Noah,
    Just wanted to say great job at the Olympics representing the USA. Your 50km race was especially awesome. I got up in the middle of the night and found a pirate feed online to watch it live. It’s really exciting and inspiring to see Americans at the front of the pack mixing it up in those big races. I think that will pay dividends for you down the road.
    Thanks also for all the posts documenting your Olympic experiences.
    Good luck with the rest of the season, I think you have a few more great races in you this year…..enjoy!

  3. Good luck with your race tomorrow, Noah! Your Olympic coverage was far more interesting than the tv stations’, and it is such a treat to hear your perspectives on the World Cup as well. Great blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences. You should be proud of all that you’ve accomplished!

  4. Noah,
    Good luck as the season continues!! I’ve really enjoyed your blog posts throughout the Olympics (and appreciate this opportunity to comment). Your behind-the-scenes pictures and commentary were terrific! I just want to say that you and the entire Team have been a real inspiration to me these last couple weeks. I raced cyclo cross for about a decade before injury trouble relegated me to spectator status. Nowadays, as a novice XC skier, I watch you guys race and see the many similarities to cyclo cross bike racing, the tactics and strategy… and suffering! Love to watch you guys and gals haunchin’ it out there on the course. I’m rootin’ for you and your mates. Oh, and a question to close this out… how’s the beer in Norway? Cheers!

  5. Отличный блог))) очень интересно посмотреть на большой спорт изнутри))) вы очень много и эфективно сделали для освещения олимпиады 2014 изнутри))) большое спасибо))) с удовольствием буду следить за вашими спортивными успехами в дальнейшнм!

  6. You do a great job of telling the story of your experience, Noah. You’re a fine writer. Keep up the good work and thanks for taking the time.

  7. Noah
    Thanks so much for all the effort you have put into your blog. Love the coverage of the Olympics. Hope on reflection you will be happy with your performances ,Team USA improving all the time. Exciting times for you all (men and women) I had the pleasure of being coached by Holly and caught the skiing bug from the gang at APU,

  8. I thought you were awesome in that interview on NBC. You looked so cute. I am glad you are not in Russia anymore. YUK!! I do hope we don’t go to war over the Crimea. Anyway you did so well and I know you will continue to do so. Love Nana

  9. Noah, you might remember me contacting you last spring to commiserate shoulder surgeries. I started reading your blog the day of your surgery (March 28th) the and have almost daily since. Like so many have commented, you have provided such an interesting and entertaining insight into the life of an elite athlete and a young man. I have thoroughly enjoyed it!

    You have had an amazing year filled with the requisite ups and downs, but from my vantage more ups. Your natural talent, work ethic and basic positive, upbeat attitude to all you encounter is going to carry you to amazing heights. Keep pushing! Keep writing the blog!

  10. Hei

    It is very funny to follow your blog, I live here in Oslo and I will cheer for you at fem-mila(norwegian for 50k) in holmenkollen at saturday. i think you will a WC-race some day. At the 50k in the olympics the norwegian commentators said that you got an extrem motor but not any technic, thats theirs words. If you want too know Fornebu is the earlier main airport of norway and that he weather forecast for saturday is extremly lucky, since we got only 7 houers combined of sunshine from the blue sky since christmas. And did you know that the ski trail system which connect to the holmenkollen trails is at 2600 km : http://www.skiforeningen.no/marka/forem/

    Greeting from Oslo

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