The Mountain Village Continued

The Mountain Olympic Village felt more like we were at the Winter Olympic Games than our Costal Village by the Black Sea where it is 55-65 degrees everyday!

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We rode the gondolas down into the town at Rosa Khotur where they have built a ski village. None of this was here a year or two ago-it was all built for the Olympics (and now it will be a Russian ski resort). No wonder the Games cost Russia 52 billion!

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The Mountain Village!

Our staff had the day off today so we decided to head to to the Mountain Olympic Village to see a little snowboard slalom and the views. We took a secured bus versus the train.
We stopped at the snowboard races first to watch a few runs.

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Then we ran into some of our figure skating coaches who had just gotten off of a lift-they had rented skiis and a snowboard and had gone all the way to tbe top.

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We hopped onto the ski lift and took it up to a series of gondolas. Then ran into Jennifer Chee and the doctor from USA Women’s Hockey!

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The view from mid-mountain was pretty amazing:

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But the views from the top were spectacular!

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Don’t fall off the side!

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Speed Skating Medal!

After the team dinner we walked over to the Iceberg to watch short track speed skating. The men’s 5000 meter relay was really exciting -at one point we moved ahead of Russia and we thought we might capture gold. Then they maneuvered passed us again. But we still earned a silver medal!

Here we are walking from the USA house to the Iceberg Skating Palace. The Olympic Park is beautiful at night.

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And our silver medal short track team:

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The Olympic mascots make sure everyone is quiet for the start so that the skaters can hear the start gun go off.
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Great Start to the Ladies Event!

The U.S. ladies are all in the top 10 after tonight’s short program! Gracie Gold skated to a 4th place finish, Ashley Wagner is currently in 6th and Polina Edmunds is 7th. All three skated great! Can’t wait for the long program tomorrow!

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Jason Brown and his coach Kori Ade Ade Rockin’ USA in the house!!

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Polina talks with her coach David as Yuna Kim gets ready to go out onto the ice for her short program (amazing skate by Yuna!). This is the area I watch the event from (there’s a large monitor on the wall across from the bench Polina is sitting on).

Medal Ceremony

We had a celebration gathering at the USA house tonight to honor Charlie and Meryl and for them to give their coaches a special medal of honor from the USOC called the Ekos medals. Their speeches were very moving.
Then we walked over to the medals plaza to watch them be awarded their Olympic gold medals! It was pouring rain but their was still a huge crowd. I was very pleased with the Nike waterproof pants and coat we were issued- I was completely dry underneath when we got back to the village.

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It was wonderful to be able to take part in the celebration and the medal ceremony despite the rain.

Olympic History!

They did it! Meryl Davis and Charlie White captured the gold medal tonight with a spectacular performance!!
And they made Olympic history- they are the first U.S. team to ever win a gold medal in ice dancing (Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won a silver medal in 2006 in Torino).
I am so honored that I was able to be there to experience this piece of figure skating history!
And our other dance teams skated great as well! Madison Chock and Evan Bates ended up 8th and the Shibutani’s were 9th. It’s only the second time that the U.S. has had all three ice dance teams in the top 10 at the Olympics!
It was a great evening. Good night everyone!

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In the Lead After the Short Dance!

Woo hoo! Meryl and Charlie are in first after the short dance and set a new world record score in the process! I’ve traveled with them to different key events throughout their career: Junior World Championships in Slovenia in 2006, their first senior World Championships the following year in Tokyo where they placed 7th in the world, the World Championships in 2011 in Moscow where they earned their first World title, at the World Championships last year where they won another World title and now here at the Olympic Games! They won the silver medal at the last Olympics in Vancouver.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates skated great as did the Shibutanis!! All 3 of our ice dance teams are in the top 10 at the Olympics- pretty darn good! Be sure to watch the free dance competition tonight where we will hopefully win a medal! And Madison and Evan’s program is one of the loveliest programs I have seen in a long time – breathtaking! And the Shibutani’s Michael Jackson program is also amazing and lots of fun!

Here are some photos after the short dance in the Kiss and Cry:

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78.89 – New World Record score for the short dance!

Here’s a few shots from the ice dance practice earlier this morning (remember, I’m 11 hours ahead of Colorado so I was at the ice dance practice for their free dance tonight as you all were getting ready for bed Sunday night).

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And yes, it is kind of strange that the 1st and 2nd place teams have the same coaching staff!