by Elli Terwiel
So far Sochi has been fantastic! Technically I’m not in Sochi, as the mountain village is located 45 minutes away, near Rosa Khutor. Names aside, it’s been great.
The first day here was spent taking everything in and getting organized. The Canadian House in the Olympic village is full of food from home — I could have wept when I saw Cheerios, my absolute favourite, and the team “kit” of clothing fills a duffel bag. The volunteers and organizers have done a fantastic job setting up the village and taking care of us.
At the gym in Canadian House the athletes have started an internal competition to make the treadmill reach its top speed possible — without turning it on. So far, bobsledder Kaillie Humphreys leads for the women and a bobsledder is also leading for the men.
In general, the Olympic village feels a lot like being at college. It has dorm style accommodation, dining halls and you see a million new faces every day. However, unlike college, the dining hall is full of healthy food.
Going into my competition I’m focusing on how I want to ski the course, not on the outcome. I’m making sure I’m focused and relaxed in my dry land training. I’m also relaxing and enjoying this amazing environment. I watched Jan Hudec break Canada’s 20 year streak by winning a bronze medal. I also watched the women’s boardercross finals, and I was reminded that when you keep fighting ’til the finish line anything can happen.
No matter the outcome of my race run in these Olympics, I’m profoundly grateful to experience the camaraderie, hard work and inspiring stories that happen here. It’s as much about the “event” as it is about your own event.