Monday, February 23, 2015

Falun 2015 World Championships

Time for a photo catch up.  I am now in Falun, Sweden for the World Championships.  Lot's going on.  We have had three days of competition and now with a break today and then 5 days straight of competition.  Busy early days with meetings and discussions regarding finish area preparations with photographers, TV, interviewers, chip timing, ceremony producer, and volunteer security etc.  After three days we have a good system going and hopefully can now enjoy the competitions and have everything run smoothly.  Over course that is just the hope.  The "coolest" moment so far was a ski this morning with the Crown Prince of Denmark.  I actually accompanied his assistant while Vegard Ulvang (ski royalty!) skied with the Prince.  It was a really great experience.  I had the chance to sit with just the Prince and his assistant for 15 minutes one on one afterwards while we had a coffee and some Swedish chocolate.  There were three security guys just outside our room but their presence was light and I had the chance to joke with them that they needed to learn to ski.   I don't have any pictures from the ski but it will be a great memory.

My job has it's privileges.  Medal ceremony VIP stage access.  My parents and sister are in the crowd somewhere.  

We were treated to a nice dinner in a small cottage halfway up the Ski Jump hill.  Not a chance I would try that sport.  Really impressive.

Dream car in Ostersund, Sweden airport

Before the World Champs Kikkan and I spent two weeks in Vålådalen, Sweden training.  A really great ski history here and you can feel it in the main building. 

Our one completely sunny day in Vålådalen.  It was -17c.  By midnight it was 0c and +3 c the next day and raining.  Crazy weather for there.  

Despite -17c it made for a beautiful ski.  

Original cabin in Vålådalen from the 1920s. 

Very unique sprint event in Ostersund, SWE.  The final World Cups before the World Champs.  They pushed snow up the grandstand and through the access tunnel so the athletes went right through the crowd. 

Second night in Falun, SWE for World Champs marked the beginning of Carnival which is celebrated in I believe just German speaking parts of Europe but I really have no idea.  Regardless it was time to get my lederhosen out again and they had an extra hat for me.  

Wooden plates for dinner for a very traditional Swedish meal.  No dishwashing here!  But great kindling for the next fire.  

A huge herd of Reindeer on the drive from Ostersund to Falun.  Probably around 40 animals  These are the stragglers from the group.  

One more week here in Sweden, then a week in Finland followed by a week in Norway and then back over the Atlantic to Sun Valley, Idaho for a week and then to Anchorage.  I have no idea where the winter went.  I feels like it should be only half over, but sleeping in our bed at home does feel like a distant memory.