Race Day in PyeongChang

Race day! I’m feeling good and can’t wait to get started. Today’s race is the 30K Skiathlon which includes 15K classic technique, a pit stop to change skis and poles and 15K skate technique. I will be wearing bib number 47. It is a mass start and the gun goes off at 3:15pm Korean Time (11:15pm tonight (Saturday) Mountain Standard Time and 1:15am Eastern Standard Time). At the bottom of this post I have included details about how you can watch including tape-delayed coverage Sunday US Time on NBC.

My goal for today is to ski with high energy but also to push hard when necessary. I want to ski aggressively and show that I belong here. My best Olympic finish is 24th place, and I believe I can improve on that result.

Yesterday the cross-country events kicked off at the Olympics with the women’s skiathlon, and American Jessie Diggins put on an impressive show. It looked like she was struggling early, but she was characteristically tough as nails and fought like crazy to a fifth place finish, the second best US Olympic result ever and the best for women. She was so close to making contact with the group of second through fourth place finishers, and I believe Jessie is going to take a step onto the podium sometime in the next two weeks. I am inspired by her racing tenacity and want to emulate it today.

My teammates and I did our pre-race ski as soon as the women finished their race yesterday. We didn’t want to miss watching the second half of their race, so we decided to take an earlier shuttle to watch from the athlete lounge at the venue. The race started while we were on the bus, and it was nice to have the TV that allowed us to watch.

We weren’t the only ones watching in the tent.

If Jessie had been on track to medal in the final couple of kilometers, we would have run down to the stadium to cheer her on. Regardless, we were very excited after watching the race.

If we want to wear non-Olympic gear while training, we have to tape over the sponsor patches. Andy Newell did that on his windproof jacket yesterday.

Erik Bjornsen, Scott Patterson, Paddy Caldwell, Tyler Kornfield and I did our race prep intensity together. We did 6 minutes of threshold classic skiing, practiced our exchanges in the pits and then finished with a couple minutes of threshold skating. It was a gorgeous evening.

The sprinters were out training as well. Here’s Sophie Caldwell.

We took a selfie together.

Not all of our trails are lit, only the 2.5K, but it’s really nice skiing at night.

I mentioned in my blog yesterday that we took the stairs down 13 flights from our apartment, and I got a question on Facebook asking if there’s an elevator in the building. There is, but only one for the 15 floors so it can be a long wait. Sometimes it’s easier to take the stairs down, though I have yet to take them up. I’m trying to keep my legs as fresh as possible.

Today is bright and clear and, unlike the last couple days, very chilly.

I am still struck by the fact that everything in the Village is Olympic or Olympic sponsor branded.

Including the cars in the parking lot…

I went on a nice morning jog to wake my body up.

Here’s a look at the Village with the ski jump in the background and our venue in the background on the right.

The German Team has rented out the clubhouse of the golf course near the Village. I assume it’s the equivalent of The Haven for us.

Like us, they have their own shuttles to get there.

We just finished our pre-race meeting.

The focus was on staying warm during the race. It’s supposed to be getting windier as the day goes on, and we may have “wind chill” temperatures of -21°C (-6°F) during the race. (The race timeframe is pictured below in pink.)

As promised above, here are details about how you can watch today’s race:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11 —MEN’S SKIATHLON
ON COMPUTER: NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports Phone app – Live Streaming
1:15-3:10 a.m. EST
Olympic Channel: Home Of Team USA
5:00-7:00 a.m. EST – Medal Ceremony (live)
ON TV – NBCSN
5:00-9:00 a.m. EST – Men’s cross country skiathlon (in time block)
ON TV LATER IN THE DAY – NBC
3:00-6:00 p.m. EST – Men’s cross country skiathlon