Everyone seems to claim that their state has the worst variance in weather. “If you don’t like the weather in Nebraska . . . wait ten minutes.” But I really think that might be true here in Whistler. We have been here six days and I have woken up to the sun bolting through the window into my eyes, the sound of the snow plow clearing a few inches of snow from the streets, and the sound of the Nebraska-like winds whipping the flags outside near my room. In a couple weeks, I’m going to look forward to Mother Nature allowing me to sleep in a little!
Yesterday at the USA House (a hospitality building outside of the village for athletes to relax, watch some events, meet with family, etc), I had dinner with some teammates. While we were there Julia Mancuso had a reception party for winning her second silver medal in two days. They were the first medals I’ve seen in person. It’s hard to explain but an Olympic medal carries a sense of presence like nothing else, at least to an athlete. Even while other people were speaking and the highlights were playing on tv, the center of all the attention was the two round chunks of medal around Julia’s neck. The respect and admiration that they demand is incomparable to any other trophy or prize. It’s the representation of years of a person’s life. In two days I will have the chance to win my own in the 2-man and again in eight days in the 4-man race. The thrill of competing in the Olympics is one thing, but if I should be fortunate enough to win a medal, believe me that I will cherish it with more pride than I can express in words.