Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Update: Real life

Happy Valentines day!

Mine started obscenely early when G arrived back in Squamish at about 4am. He landed in Seattle from Sweden last night, and decided to drive through -- five hours. Since I had to get up at 6am anyway, I figured 4am was close enough and settled for less than three hours sleep.

He, on the other hand, thanks to jet lag was fully wired to start his day. So I put his energy to good use and had him drop me off at the bus stop with about 50 other very sleep volunteers (in the rain, of course).

Work today wasn't that fun, except that the sun came out, so I won't get into too much detail. I will mention that I met Dennis and Jane, two veteran Luge track volunteers who were a fountain of knowledge when it came to our sport.

Did you know that athletes do not get to touch their sleds around competition until they are climbing aboard? It's true. Event officials take the sleds from their mechanics, and then run them through a series of tests to make sure all is fair. The officials then place the sled in the track for the athlete.

One such test is to probe the runners on the sled. There is a maximum temperature the sleds' blades must stay under or else it could be considered cheating. The laws of physics tell us that the hotter the blades, the faster the sled.

So there you go. I think that would be pretty tough as an athlete to leave the final preperation of your equipment to someone other than yourself or your trusted mechanic. Especially coming from mountain biking where we often fiddle with our gear right into the start pens.

Anyway, up at the start gates where I started this morning I got to see a lot of "behind the scenes" stuff since the ladies were practicing again. They race tomorrow I believe.

The men had their third and fourth runs today for the medal and it was Germany, Germany, Italy.

Speaking of medals, SO STOKED for Canada's Alex Bilodeau who grabbed our first gold on home soil in the mens moguls while I was taking the bus, asleep, back to Squamish for dinner with Gerhard. So that's my "where were you?" story ... what's yours?

Dinner was so amazing I should add. We were joined by Jackie and Nate, our hosts, for pistachio encrusted rack of lamb, mushroom risotto and field greens all courtesy of Gerhard's culinary expertise. Jackie then whipped up some chocolate fondue for us all, with a ton of fresh fruit, so we barely had any need for the 8 or so cupcakes that also showed up ... breakfast of champions!

1 comment:

  1. i was thinking of you when i saw all the slush/rain. hopefully those jackets are warm and fully waterproof! i think that if you've been competing in a sport for long enough, you get used to things like date changes (for skiing) or having to give up your equipment (for luge). anyway, hopefully things continue to run smoothly for you (groan).