Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tough Day

Wow...not the day I hoped for today, but the day the feared. I avoided betting on the women's race podium today in our friendly daily championships bet so to not jinx Kikkan's much for superstition. She is in as good a spirits as can be expected. We watched the semi-finals and finals together without much discussion. I should note that the three women on the podium were 30 yrs +....yeah for Master Blasters! People have been great with Kikkan. The Norwegians wanted the best skier to win (and they hoped it would be Bjorgen) today, and there was true dismay felt when Kikkan fell. The genuine emotion shown when she went down was very impressive. At dinner tonight our server asked Kikkan if she was the one that fell today, and said "ahh, and you were one of the favourites! I am so sorry for you. I yelled at the TV when you fell." Very cool indeed.

Tonight I had my first go at the public transit here in Oslo. What a treat. I am always anxious about traveling by bus, train, subway in foreign cities. This is for many reasons including the fact that I grew up in the country and have little experience using public transit in North America and two; I don't speak the local language and I am always worried about delaying people as I struggle with directions. However, 99% of the time my Europe travels have been problem free mostly due to the kindness of fellow passengers or drivers. Tonight was no exception. I jumped on the # 20 bus to Mayorstruen where I was to jump off and catch at train to Nydalen right by Kikkan's hotel (we are about 9 km apart). My first bus driver told me he would let me know when to get off, and when it was time he asked where I was going and he let me know I could stay on his bus and not need to take the train. He took me to another stop where I got off at his recommendation and jumped onto the #30 bus to Nydalen just 7 minutes later.

Once on that bus I got a feeling that my bus had turned around and was heading back down the route (first clue was that I was now the only one on the bus). I asked the driver about the Nydalen train station (which lets out across the street from Kikk's hotel), and he stopped in the middle of the road to let me jump off.....and low and behold Kikk's hotel is staring at me from a block away...victory! In total a 30 minute trip through beautiful Oslo. Love this city. On the way back from a pizza dinner with Kikkan and her parents and Aunt Betsy and tried the train options and was back in 20 min just two blocks from my hotel. So simple and so easy.

Just a training day for the team tomorrow with Ester being our lone starter on Saturday in the women's pursuit. We will have 4 men go on Sunday in the pursuit.

The Aussie wax trailer. With the athletes competing today. Take that Norwegian wax truck!

A view back to the stadium at some of the 40,000 or so spectators. The stadium was sold out and the hill top was 30 people deep.
Ester charging back into the I miss my old camera.
Kikkan being a good sport and going through all the post race interviews.

End of a long day....

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