Where do I even begin to explain this experience. I have to start with the silly theme of my very first Olympics, "hot, cool, yours". I think that about sums up my experience just perfectly! None of us really knew what those three words written on everything meant, but I made up my own idea..!
First, and foremost, we got incredibly lucky. We had the most incredible three weeks of weather I have ever had consecutively in a winter. Three weeks of beautiful views, beautiful weather, and beautiful Sochi racing! What comes with the beauty was heat though... in fact there were a few days of racing where I just couldn't figure out how the snow wasn't simply turning into a rushing river down the mountain! I don't know how Russia knew it was going to be hot.... but I guess they predicted well!
"Cool"... that was the next word. While it may have never actually been "cool" as far as temperature, it was one heck of a "cool experience". Every day there was something new to blow my mind away. Some new experience, some new extremely friendly volunteer, some race that played out incredibly "cool". If I had a ten year old's vocabulary, or a fourty-five year old's very brilliant vocabulary... "cool" is simply the best way to describe what the Olympics are like! Cool feelings, cool honor, cool people, cool venue, cool coaches and wax techs that rock at their job, cool Russia... COOL! Ok, they nailed the second word in their theme.
So, finally, "yours".... and by yours, I see it as "your experience". The Olympics are what you make of them. You either choose to have the racing define it, the experience to define it, or whatever it be. For me, Sochi was one of the coolest experiences in my life. The racing was exciting, and fun... not my highest moments of the season, but it was "yours". I gave what I had at every moment, learned a lot of lessons, struggled on some of the hardest sections of the course, but gave it my very best! I still dream of winning medals, and will still continue that dream into my future!! But, "yours" was more than racing for me. It was the feelings I had every time I skied by the Olympic rings. It was the feeling of excitement and joy as I watched in disbelief when my brother dropped everyone in the team sprint. It was the feelings I got when I watched an awards ceremonies and saw tears rolling down fellow athletes cheeks. It was the feelings I got when I watched Kikkan pull her heart together after the sprint race when it didn't go exactly as planned. It was the feelings I got as Kikkan, Liz, Jessie and I did a cheer together before the start of our relay and decided to make it "our" race..... whatever it was going to be! It was the feelings I got as I watched coaches cry, scream, jump five feet off the ground as they watched their athletes succeed.... it was everything!! Two days before I left, I went out and did a workout with Erik Flora, and decided to take "yours" to a new level. Sochi has this incredibly hard seven minute climb at the finish of all of the races... and every race I had started... that hill tore me to pieces. So, two days before I left, I decided to make that climb "mine". I went out and did intervals on it, and learned to conquer it. While it may have not been in a race, I still walked away just as satisfied! It topped off making the Olympic experience "yours".
When I look back on Sochi, less than likely will I even remember the places I finished in the races; but I will remember all the hottest, coolest, and unique Sadie experiences. I will remember all the messages I got day after day from friends, family, media, Jimmy Fallon... the whole experience. And, not only that, I am going to remember that silly little theme written everywhere, "hot.cool.yours"!
They say that pictures speak a thousand words... and since there are probably a million words I could put together to explain how awesome these last three weeks have been... I am going to let pictures tell most of the story!
Always excitement! 21 days later, still stoked on the experience!
|Photo Credit- Competitive Image|
|Photo Credit- Zimbio|
|Photo Credit- Getty Imgaes|
Spirit- while we may rock glitter and pink all other parts of the year- I always appreciate when we get to put the stars and stripes on, and we rock the red, white, and blue!
|Photo Credit- Andrew Scott|
|Photo Credit- Competitive Image|
|Photo Credit- Jonas Lindkvist|
Even though we are at the Olympics, and the pressure can seem high... a little laughing always solves the problem!
Matt Whitcomb giving the big X for extremely amazing woman's coach (and for standing in a coaching zone to cheer... when we were told not to) Whoops!
Sophie and Jessie in the quarterfinals. Sophie was extremely impressive this day!! She was skiing like she had a set of wings on her back. Floating when she needed to, and turning on the turbo engine when she wanted! Unfortunately she fell on the furthest corner out during the finals... but don't be surprised if she has the gold medal in hand four years from now!
The Sochi atmosphere was great! There were tons of excited fans, and it made the olympic experience a true olympic experience!
Chandra and I enjoying some rays while we cheer on the race. Chandra has been a hero since I was young, and a great friend in these past four years. We have had a lot of awesome talks about goals, dreams in life, and dealing with adversity. This photo really captures how much I appreciate this girl!
Hanging out with the legend, Bjorn Daehlie himself!
While I may have missed opening ceremonies because I had a race the next day... I still got to rock the suit for the afternoon around our village!
Flowers for our first Olympic Race from Torin Koos! How nice!
The hardworking staff working all day, every day. These guys may be behind the scenes- but they are running the show! You would be amazed how much time and effort it takes to put together a pair of skis to be competitive on the World Cup. It is something that never gets enough credit- and these dudes are amazing!!
My "Sochi Mom" time. It was so nice to see Kristann Schoening, who was working for the Norwegian Team. She is my dad's best friend from growing up, and a really close family friend, so I was enjoying spending time with her so much! Thanks Kristiann for the huge smile all the time!
The Endurance Village had everything!!! Even a lap swimming pool that looked out on the mountains. I was bummed I didn't bring my suit and goggles!
And school goes on- class the morning of race day.
The view of our walk to the dining hall at two different times of the day.... beauty!!
Family Spirit! My sister and godsister made these t-shirts for all our friends and family. It meant the world to get all the photos from everyone. Thanks Hills and Kaley for making them- and thanks to all the amazing people rocking them!!
Valentines Day at the Olympics wasn't as fun as spending it with Jo- but we have some awesome boys on our team who made us some Valentines!
OnePiece gave us a bunch of suits this year, and I was laughing when I saw the American Flag one in the store in Sochi! Crazy to see they had a store there!
I finally made it down to the Coastal Village on the last day for closing Ceremonies. It was amazing to see the difference. It smelled like the Sea, there were Palm Trees, there was sweet sunsets looking out on to the Black Sea, there were bikes to ride around the Village... it was just an entirely different scene. It was really neat to visit, but I was glad we had our secluded village up on the top of the mountain without so many distractions!
After the show, there was an Olympic DJ in the middle of the massive stadium... maybe the coolest dance party I have ever been to!
And finally, after three weeks and an epicly long final day of the games... we have made it back to Europe for the final three weeks of World Cup racing. I guess with world keeps spinning after the games have completed. Next weekend we are going to go out and race the exact same people, but this time it is not for an Olympic Medal... how crazy is that?
That about sums up the majority of my experience. It was an incredible one, and I can't believe it is already over! Thanks to everyone that helped me get there, thanks to everyone that cheered me on once I was there, and thanks to everyone who is keeping me going! I just had the time of my life!
And finally, here is a little laugh if you haven't seen it already. Jimmy Fallon found Erik and I were Bjorn to do this!