Welcome to the 2nd Phase

Another chock-a-bloc filled day of racing.

Made a quick trip to the sliding center to catch a bit of the skeleton event.  When I was walking the track during a training session last week, a Canadian course worker was kind enough to explain how everything works, two vs. four bobsleds, luge, etc.  As we got to skeleton — headfirst down the track vs. luge’s feet first — he paused and added:  “And you should know that those bastards are crazy.”

From there, it was back to the XC stadium for the Women’s 10k free.   Yesterday was perhaps the most beautiful day of the games so far and we saw an equally fantastic performance by Team USA.  As a long time member of the ski racing community, I think it speaks to Kikkan’s “elevation of expectations” when our first reaction to Jessie’s 5th place finish is a whisper of disappointment.  It wasn’t too long ago when just getting people into points (Top 30) was considered a miracle.  Jessie skied a gutsy race with Sadie and Kikkan not too far behind.

The evening was wrapped up at the Ice Planet Hoth Biathlon Center.  (The Women’s 10k free XC race and the Women’s 15k Individual biathlon races were essentially taking place at the same time — you had to pick one.)  Another photographer told me that you can tell where we are in the Olympic period by the photography :

  • 1st phase — All the photographers are running from event to event and shooting clean, traditional shots.
  • 2nd phase – Photographers start getting bored.  Lots of pans, multiple exposures and “Oh, that’s what that button does!” type shots.
  • 3rd phase – Photographers get tired.  The only things photographed are those easily visible from the finish tower.

Welcome to the 2nd phase.

I’m suspecting they’re from Wisconsin, but that’s just a hunch.
Kikkan Randall (USA) with a longtime U.S. Ski Team wax tech – Oleg Ragilo in the background.
The instant gold medal winner Ragnhild Haga (NOR) sat in the leader’s chair, she reached for her cell phone.  I’m not sure if she was calling her parents or following up on a cable bill, but Charlotte Kalla’s (SWE) befuddled reaction was the best part.
Jessie Diggins (USA)
Annika Taylor (GBR & UNH Wildcat)
Tim Burke (USA)
Jakov Fak (SLO) on his way to a silver medal.
Leif Nordgrenn (USA)


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