What a difference a few hours makes. So much for complaining about the blue skies, warm temps and Spring-like weather. Late last night, a thick fog rolled in and made visibility at the mountain venues next to nil. After postponing this morning’s men’s snowboardcross races and canceling qualifiers, organizers made the decision to move the event to tomorrow and hope conditions improve.
Once the event was canceled, I spent a bit of time at the venue talking with athletes and parents whose schedules had just been drastically altered — Alex Deibold’s family was scheduled to fly out tomorrow, so they’re frantically trying to change their tickets — and then headed down the mountain to my hotel. On my way down, I got a call from my good friend Denege, who arrived in Sochi late last night and is staying just up the gondola from me. She had a ticket for me to the women’s hockey game vs. Sweden at 5 pm.
So I met her at my hotel and we took a taxi down to the Olympic Village in Adler. It was my first visit to the Village, where I saw the flame, stopped by USA House and watched the U.S. women win their semifinal game against the Swedes 6-1. They play Canada on Thursday in the gold-medal game.
After the game, Denege and I took the train back to the mountains (it was my first Russian train ride, too!) and met up with some friends at the Marriott (the NBC hotel and a meeting place for those of us staying in Gorki) for dinner. It was a whirlwind trip, but I’m glad I finally had the opportunity to experience the Olympics. It still doesn’t feel very Olympic up here in the mountains. Every day seems to be emptier and emptier, and this weather isn’t going to do anything positive for attendance.
In Adler, it was nice to see crowds of people dressed in their country’s colors and wandering around the Village, dancing to American pop music and standing in a very long line at the Olympic superstore. Did anyone know there was a roller coaster?!
Tomorrow will be a long day. The rescheduled men’s snowboardcross race is in the morning, provided the fog holds off, and the debut of men’s ski halfpipe is in the evening. Again, provided the weather cooperates. Today was the perfect way to hit the refresh button.
Thanks, D$! Less than a week to go …