Simi Hamilton

 
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Sochi- Hot. Cool. Yours.

Topic: General News

We’re here! Kind of a strange title for this post, but seeing as Hot. Cool. Yours. is the official slogan of the 2014 Olympics, I thought it fitting. Still trying to figure out exactly what it means, and if anyone has any concrete answers for me, let me know. Anyway, there are more than a few perplexing things about the Olympics, not just the unique slogans, that seem to catch my attention when I’m here. Like where all the millions of plastic bottles go after they’e been discarded (we’re under strict rules to only use bottled water… even for brushing our teeth), how logistics seem to stay so smooth for the thousands of athletes, coaches, and staff that are here, and how to get three duffel bags of Olympic garb home once the games are over. Again, if anyone has any concrete answers, let me know.

We arrived at the Endurance Village a few days ago. This place is crazy, especially after contrasting it to what we say here and down in the valley when we raced our pre-Oly test World Cups exactly one year ago. As we walked to meals at the Endurance Village and drove past hundreds of iron and steel hotel skeletons lined along the highway up from the Black Sea last February, I remember thinking to myself, “How in God’s name are they going to get everything done by next February?” Well, from our end of things, it seems like they did. And hat’s off to the thousands and thousands of hard working construction workers and planners that made it happen. Sure, there are stories about media hotels still not having running water, and doorknobs coming off in-hand when people have checked into their hotel rooms, but from where we sit, everything is pretty darn amazing. We’re living the good life, as some like to say. The skiing on the race trails is unbelievable. Fast, great tracks, stunning views, and courses that are extremely challenging, technical, and fun all bundled up into one amazing bubble of a venue. I hit a pretty good speed on the big downhill today, and didn’t even blink an eye because of the perfect grooming and layout of the trails:

Thanks Zach Caldwell for the great shot.

Since it’s just the XC skiers and biathletes up at the Endurance Village for the entirety of the games, you see a lot of familiar faces everywhere you go. You get to know a lot of great people from just being on the World Cup all year, so it’s fun to hook up with friends around here for a quick game of pool, a training lap around the race course, or a bit of deck time in the afternoon sun.

So far, the two Olympic opening ceremonies that I’ve been to have ranked right up there with that time I took a trip to outer space and that other time I safely landed a 747. Somewhat unreal to say the least. The energy is out of this world and there’s really no layman’s way to describe walking into a stadium in front of 50,000 spectators with the stars and stripes on your back. It makes you forget about pressure and expectations and to be part of a larger team- not just an American team but a World team- is the most awesome feeling that exists, I’m pretty sure.

Noah and myself sporting our attire that doubles as our opening ceremonies outfits as well as what we'll wear when we deliver long-winded lectures about astrophysics after our skiing careers

Today’s women’s 15 km duathlon kicked off the XC events. We had 4 girls race really well, with especially great performances by Jessie in 8th and Liz in 12th. Just watching the live feed from our room made me antsy to get out there and ski some more, and I’m getting more and more fired up for the sprint on Tuesday with every passing minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 Responses

  1. Christopher Keleher says:

    Love it, Simi! Keep up the good work on these feeds. Wish I was there to share it with you, but I’ll be watching every minute of your races! Good luck, former 8th grade patrol member! Can’t wait for the stories when you get back!

  2. Darcey says:

    Hi Sim-
    Really glad to hear you say positive things about the venue, course, etc. I am so tired of the negative coverage that I wrote CNN (for all the good that will do). For two days we’ve seen nothing but pictures of a busted up bathroom and stories about the Olympic circle light that didn’t light up. After all the years and hard work you and the other athletes have put in, I would hope that the press would cover you guys and not all this other negative, mindless garbage. You go, Sim! The Aunties are cheering you on from afar!

  3. Molly Garland says:

    Oh Simi,

    All of Team Olenick-Garland is sending you positive vibes. Fly like the wind ! We love you!

  4. Roberta & Myrl Lemburg says:

    Hi, we are the parents of Rebecca Weiss, wife of Austin Weiss. We live in Virginia Beach, VA. and will be watching and rooting for you Tuesday and every day. Good luck – make us proud.

  5. Simi!!! 50.1mph!? holy moly they should just give you the gold now! I am so excited for you–what an amazing opportunity. Soak in those emotions that will one day be some of your best memories! Cheering soooooo loud for you along with everyone else in the RFV!
    P.S. I love that photo of you and Noah in your turtlenecks…you look like little babies 😉 Huge hugs to you and Noah!

  6. Lisa and Lou Dawson says:

    Thanks for the post. Really interesting to read what it’s like there at Sochi. We’re cheering you on. Go, go, go!

    • Simi says:

      Thanks Lisa and Lou! Hopefully you get to see some footage of the ski races here because there are some pretty crazy mountains with some AMAZING potential lines around here… makes me want to come back with my BC stuff! Can’t wait to run into you guys on Chair this spring!

  7. Jimbo Bey says:

    Great post Simi!
    Solution to your three bag problem, have Al, Ruthie and Jenny check a second bag on the flight home.
    Olympic fever is abundant over here, good luck and Go USA!!!!
    -jimbo

  8. Steph and Nate Helfenbein says:

    Simi-
    We are so excited for you and proud of all you have accomplished…and have yet to accomplish! We will be cheering you on fro Redstone!
    Much love,
    Nate, Steph and Mason

  9. Georgina Levey says:

    It has been so great to get the inside scoop from you and Noah…fun to share with my 5th graders since it makes them understand the Olympic spirit from the inside out. Can’t wait to read and see more. Good luck on Tuesday!

  10. Gammy says:

    Enjoy all your comments! Great experience! I know you’ll do well! Keeping track and watching it all! Love, Gammy

  11. Ben Urmston says:

    Sim! Thanks for the post! Can’t wait to hear about the trip to outer space and landing a 747! Keep it up!

  12. Al (for advanced Sochi Support Team) says:

    we’re all set to be there cheering. super excited!!!

  13. Teagan Walter says:

    Sim, that picture of you and Noah is phenomenal. Words are not enough. I can’t wait to watch you race. Congratulations on your accomplishment, and good luck!

  14. Molly Ireland says:

    Okay Simi, go get ’em! Thanks for posting, I’m really enjoying the insider’s perspective of the Olympic experience. Well all be watching and cheering! Molly

  15. Brian Harder says:

    Hey buddy,
    Been a freaking long time. 2007, I think, right? Thought I’d track you down here.

    So cool you’re still at it chasing the dream. You’re a lucky man. I’m up in Anchorage now so I’m more in touch with your world with Kikkan and Holly being local heroines.

    Make the most of it, brother. Maybe we can catch up someday when you have time. Ski fast!

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02.08

2014

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