Sprint Day!

Today is one of Team USA Cross-Country’s best opportunities for an Olympic medal. The Olympic Classic Sprint starts in half an hour with qualifying at 5:30p.m. Korean Time (1:30a.m. Mountain Time and 3:30a.m. Eastern Time). The energy has been high around here all day. The sprinters are nervous, but I believe they are super ready. I cannot wait to watch. Information about the broadcast schedule for today’s race is at the bottom of this post.

I didn’t ski yesterday. Instead I jogged to The Haven with Liz Stephen. It was cold and windy and we were mostly running on busy roads. Honestly it wasn’t that pleasant.

I finished off my hour long workout by spinning on the bikes while Liz (on the right using the bands and Kikkan Randall (center) did a strength workout.

Our timing was good to have dinner as soon as we finished. It was Mexican night!

Even though I’ve only been gone from the States for 10 days, I already miss Mexican food (which makes up at least 50% of my diet at home). It was such a nice treat to have it again.

One of the US women racing today, Ida Sargent, crashed and broke her thumb while warming up for the final World Cup before the Olympics, 16 days ago in Seefeld, Austria. She immediately flew to Colorado and had surgery to set the bone with a plate and screws. For tonight’s race she will be exactly 14 days out of surgery. She has healed incredibly well but still experiences significant pain every time she plants her pole. Luckily, the broken bone held together by the plate and screws is stronger then a healthy natural bone, so she’s not in danger of doing more damage by working through the pain. The swelling and bruising has subsided and the incision looks great.

Through all of the turmoil and pain of the last two weeks, Ida has stayed positive and focused on this race. I hope the pain in her hand is not a limiting factor for her tonight and that everything comes together for her.

Kikkan Randall is not racing tonight. She will compete in the Skate 10K on Thursday. She always rocks some pink in her hair, and she visited the salon here in the Village to get it re-dyed.

It is super bright!

One of the challenges with living in a small apparent with lots of people is that it’s hard to talk on the phone without being obnoxious (or waking people up if they’re still asleep). I needed to make some phone calls this morning, so I went to the Athlete Lounge, which luckily was deserted.

Logan Hanneman (left) is starting his first Olympic race tonight. He was super nervous this morning. Erik Bjornsen, who’s also racing tonight, was more relaxed.

Here is a random picture I snapped of one of the Olympic ticket vendors.

Pin trading is a popular Olympic pastime. As athletes, we were given a bag full of US Cross-Country pins to trade with other athletes.

I’m not a collector, but the one pin I’m very interested in getting is from the North Korean team. I stopped by their wax cabin at the cross-country venue today, but unfortunately they didn’t have any.

Honestly, I am surprised to see North Korean cross-country skiers at all.

I skied this afternoon with Caitlin and Scott Patterson, one of three sets of siblings on our team.

The sprint course was closed but all of the other cross-country trails were open. We also skied over to check out the biathlon trails. You can connect the two trail systems through a tunnel.

It was super easy.

But unfortunately the biathlon trails were closed.

It wasn’t a problem because the cross-country trails were super quiet.

There were a bunch of technicians doing glide tests on the test track in preparation for the sprint.

I will say the skiing was a bit miserable because the wind is still howling here. At least it’s a few degrees warmer than it was yesterday.

The sprint course is in perfect shape for tonight’s rice.

As promised, here’s the broadcast schedule for today’s race:

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th —WOMEN’S AND MEN’S CLASSIC SPRINTS

ON COMPUTER NBCOLYMPICS.COM AND NBC SPORTS PHONE APP — LIVE STREAMING AT 3:30am EST
ON TV — NBCSN

5:00-9:00 a.m. EST; 9:30am – 12:30pm EST
ON TV LATER IN THE DAY – NBC
3:00- 5:00pm EST