Podium Ceremony

First, a bit of news that I believe is a really big deal but was overshadowed by yesterday’s action: Kikkan Randall, who won a gold medal last night, was elected today to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) Athletes’ Commission. There were 6 candidates representing 6 countries and 5 sports who were running for two available spots. The voting was open to all competitors of these Olympics for the past two weeks. I voted when I first arrived in PyeongChang. Finnish ice hockey player Emma Terho received the most votes and Kikkan was second in the final tally, barely edging out another cross-country skier, Norway’s Astrid Jacobsen. Kikkan and Emma will each serve an eight year term on the commission, representing all athletes at the IOC. Kikkan has already served as the cross-country representative on the International Ski Federation (FIS) Athletes’ Commission. She was great in that role, and I know she will do a wonderful job in this new and much bigger role. I want to congratulate her, and as always, I am honored and proud to be her teammate.

It is remarkable how normal life was today after everything that happened last night. The world did not fundamentally change, even though it seemed that it might. I even got to have lunch with Kikkan, before the announcement of the IOC Election results and the medal ceremony.

After a poor night’s sleep in which I was way too jazzed up, I couldn’t sleep in very late. Since I was awake, I decided to go up to the venue early to watch the Women’s Big Air Snowboarding final.

I have gotten to know a couple of the riders this week, including Jamie Anderson and Jessika Jenson, and I wanted to watch them compete.

Also, the scaffolding Big Air jump uses the same landing area as the Ski Jumps, just a stone’s throw from our venue, so it was super easy to combine Big Air spectating with my training session.

Unfortunately Jessika didn’t land any of her three jumps.

However, Jamie got her second medal of the Games! She won gold last week in women’s slopestyle and followed it up with a silver today in big air.

I love watching Olympic events.

After the event I walked five minutes over to the wax cabin to meet up with my technician, Patrick Moore.

Patrick made some amazing skis today.

We went out for an easy session to test them.

After 15 minutes the skis felt great and I felt great so we called it a day. That might be a new record for my shortest ever training session.

After the ski I rushed back to the Village to watch, on TV, the second and third runs of the men’s Ski Halfpipe. My friends and fellow Aspenites Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Ferreira were competing. I was quite nervous watching them. Alex was amazing. He put down three runs in the 90s, a remarkable feet. He ended up on the podium, in second place behind his teammate David Wise. I am so impressed and happy for him. Torin didn’t land the run that we all know he is capable of doing, and he suffered a nasty crash on the final run. I hope he recovers quickly!

After the Ski Halfpipe finished, I had a much needed chill afternoon. I actually watched a movie for the first time in a long time: 8 Mile.

This evening was the medals ceremony for last night’s team sprint and today’s ski halfpipe and a bunch of other events as well. Of course, none of my teammates and I were going to miss it.

After a bit of a transportation mishap, our timing was perfect. We arrived just as the ceremony was concluding for the Women’s Speed Skating Team Pursuit, in which the US team of Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello took third.

The women’s team sprint was next and I screamed myself hoarse for Kikkan and Jessie.

Listening to the US National Anthem and watching the US flag rising in the center was an experience I will never forget.

I don’t have great photos. I was too busy yelling.

I’m pretty sure Jessie was laughing at my screaming as she walked off stage.

The men’s team sprint was the next ceremony.

I could have left after Jessie and Kikkan’s ceremony was over, but I really wanted to stay to cheer on Alex. Between the two, I got to cheer on several other Americans, including Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs, who took second in women’s bobsled.

I made myself heard.

There were a lot of American flags raised tonight. It was so cool to see.

I also got to cheer on Jamie as she received her silver medal.

It started snowing during the ceremony.

There were a lot of Americans on the podium tonight, but there were even more Norwegians. The Norwegian fans were out in force.

Finally it was time for Alex’s ceremony. It was emotional for me to see a fellow Aspenite receive a medal. It was also cool to see two US flags raised simultaneously.

I made myself heard to Alex as well.

As I was leaving, another US flag was being raised for Mikaela Shiffrin, who earned a silver medal in today’s Alpine Combined.

It was a cold and very fun evening.

Lastly, I am excited to share that I have officially been given a start in Saturday’s 50K. As I mentioned, training has been feeling great, and I can’t wait for another opportunity to race.