Home at Last

I’m back home in Colorado Springs after a long travel day (day and a half) from Sochi. We all left the closing ceremonies as soon as they concluded and walked back to the Olympic Village to change clothes and get on a shuttle bus to the Sochi airport.
Once at the airport we had to walk through a field and a parking lot to a non-temperature controlled hangar and proceeded to wait in the cold for 3 hours for our chartered flight. Then they initially had us get on the wrong plane!
Flew to Frankfurt and had a 7 hour layover. Then on to Chicago with a 4 hour layover and discovered I had left my travel wallet on the Frankfurt plane-waa!
Finally made it home Monday night at 9:00!
It was a great Games,but I am glad to be home! 🙂
I will follow up on this post with some photos from the Closing Ceremonies.

Dining Hall

I haven’t put up many photos of the dining hall so I took a few more this past week. The food has been really good overall with an amazing number of choices. And there are lots of yummy baked goods and daily capuchinos! I gave the girls behind the counter at McKaffe our figure skating olympic pins the first weeks so I don’t have to wait very long for my coffee.  😉

image

image

image

image

image

All of the athletes autographed Ronald!

image

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!

image

image

image

image

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!

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

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.

image

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!

image

The view from mid-mountain was pretty amazing:

image

image

But the views from the top were spectacular!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Don’t fall off the side!

image

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

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!

image

image

image

image

image

image

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:

image

image

image

image

image

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).

image

image

image

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