After a whirlwind 24 hrs I am back in the Whistler Athletes Olympic Village. I arrived at 8pm last evening and went through accreditation and two sets of security checks similar to boarding a plane. After about a 9 hr drive, from one edge of BC to the other I arrived to a light rain and ready to get out of the truck for a few days. For the next three weeks I will be using Olympic transport to get to and from the competition venue as well as any other venues in the Whistler area. Finn Marsland (Aussie head coach) and I drove into Vancouver at 7 am this morning with an Aussie luge athlete and her Canadian coach Grant (a two time Cdn Olympian in two-man luge) to pick up Ben, Ester, and Paul (the Aussie XC ski athletes) at the airport.
Once we picked them up we headed to Richmond to a Four Points Sheraton where the Australian Olympic Committee was set up and we began a 3 hr process of getting outfitted for all our official Olympic gear. I think in total I have 8 tops and jackets, as well as 3 pairs of snowboard/ski pants, a full formal wear kit for a banquet. Unbelievable how much stuff I have and I am not even competing! This is going to be quite an experience.
We are located in the Athlete Village in what will become a Sport Science facility after the Olympics, so our rooms are dorm like and are the bottom floor of 4. The US team ironically occupies the upper three floors so it won't be hard to visit with Kikkan. Other countries are spread around the village in condo style places that will or have been sold as housing once the games are complete. However, we all eat together in a huge tent complete with a variety of food options and of course Olympic sponsor McDonalds. All the plates, cups, bowls, and cutlery are compostable keeping up with the "green" Olympics theme announced by VANOC.
Tomorrow I will make my first trip to the race venue where we will begin testing waxes, skis, structure, and in general trying to get a feel for the snow conditions. But you can never be too prepared in Whistler where the conditions can change by the minute.
Below are a few pictures from last weekends World Cup in Canmore.