Got ‘er done. We had an ideal day for the Olympic 15km Skate in Whistler. After a week of warm temperatures and overcast skies, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. The race trail was prepared just right, firm and fast with plenty of spectators lining the course. I started with bib number 59, meaning that I was the 59th ranked skier going into the Olympic event.
I went into the race with a lot of confidence in my Salomon skis. A fellow Middlebury grad (and Geography Major), Zach Caldwell, sent my skis through his grinder last night to prepare the skis for the exact conditions on the trail today. My old high school coach, Randy Gibbs, is now the head US Ski Team wax technician and he prepped my skis with the fastest combination of high flouro wax around. All the US team coaches lined the course with spare poles and a lot of enthusiastic encouragement. The guys on hand today are just a handful of the thousands of people who have helped me become an Olympian. Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’ve played big part as well and I sure appreciate your help achieving this dream!
I finished 58th today, one place ahead of my ranking going into the day, so I guess you could say I improved. I felt surprisingly good on the course and only got passed by one skier, Vincent Vittoz of France, who ended up in the top 10. My skis were even a little faster than his on the downhill. Sweet! All the spectators, especially the American contingent, got me fired up out there. A number of my former teammates, including Chris and Colin Rodgers, Jimmy Butcher, and Jenny Hamilton were all in the crowd, as well as my parents (Happy Anniversary!), my Aunt Lynne and Uncle Mark, and two members of the Kuzzy Super Fan Club, Skip Fay and Mary Anderson.
A special congrats to my Twin Cities teammate Caitlin Compton for her Top-30 finish in the Olympics. Nice work!
Time to grab a little dinner and get ready to fired it up in the Sprint on Wednesday. Can’t wait!