It is hard for me to even put words to my first impressions from the Olympics! I feel like there is not enough words or word combinations to explain all the sites, feelings, and experiences so far. Lets just say that when I dreamed of going to the Olympics, I wasn't imaging it could be THIS amazing! (And the racing hasn't even started yet)
Exceeding the dreams!
If I had to explain it as best as I could I would say it feels something like being a princess! Going to processing, you are handed all these clothes, jewelry, credentials, a phone, etc. It is four hours of trying on outfits, running around in your new race suits, fitting your Olympic ring, taking team photos, tailoring your "way too warm" opening ceremonies outfit, taking face shots, the list goes on. It is a day full of instructions, organization, and just pure excitement!!

Day 1: Processing in Munich
Seriously too funny!!
Day 2: Travel to Sochi. This was surprisingly easy and quick. It was a plane full of US athletes, so we took some fun pictures of the whole plane, gave a few cheers as we took off, and then made the 3 hour trip to Sochi. Last time we were here we flew in and left, both in the dark... so it was my first time actually seeing the city as we arrived. It is crazy to see the beach right there, the palm trees, the longest city in the World, and then look up into the white mountains! After arriving, we loaded all of our stuff into vans- headed to the welcoming center in the coastal village, got our credentials processed, checked our bags, and made our way up to the mountains. The drive was a lot different than last year. The roads were huge, fast, and there was no traffic to stop us. Again, amazingly quick and easy. We finished with a gondola ride up to the mountains and then arrived in the amazing Endurance Village. Smooth sailing!

The view on the way in (athlete village right there up against the water).
Arriving in the Coastal village!! (Welcoming Center)
Bags on bags!!
Driving up the road with the white mountains right there.
Multi-tasking on our Gondola ride. We all got cell phones with some credit on them to keep us in contact with all our loved ones. Our phones have this awesome ability to get close and share files... so convenient!
Since arriving, I have been constantly amazed! We arrived in our cottage fully stoked with peanut butter, Kashi products, stationary bikes, presents on our bed, coffee makers, huge comfy rooms, TV's full of Olympic coverage. (Thanks to the USOC for making sure everything is perfect) When we leave the house we are constantly greeted by incredibly helpful and friendly volunteers looking for some way to help us. The Olympic Village is unbelievable. It wasn't here last year, so that is all new and exciting. There is a cafeteria, a post office, small store, hair salon, outdoor pool, disco ball, game room... you name it, they have it! The only athletes in our village are the nordic skiers and the biathletes- so the majority of the athletes are familiar. For that reason, things feel a little more calming and familiar.

So much peanut butter- so much excitement!!
Some nice strength training on the walk to breakfast!
One beautiful walk to meals!
Soph doing some media. I am not used to so much media! 

The courses are amazing, and the weather has been incredible. It is hard to not just want to stop every five seconds and snap a photo. With Olympic Rings covering the hill, white mountains poking out of everywhere, and Olympic Spirit just busting out of everywhere... it is hard to keep your mind on your workout. Not only that- all this excitement makes you want to race around the courses in pure glee!

Testing skis and enjoying the sunshine!
so much fun to have stars and stripes in our uniform!
These past four days I have had to teach myself to regulate my energy. The first day I was so excited when I got to processing that I forgot to conserve energy... which lead to a huge bonk by the end. Then later that night my mind was so wired and excited I couldn't sleep for a full night. So, my new approach is to take everything in at a slower rate. I have to control my excitement and regulate my energy. Every bit of being here is beyond exciting! The Olympics are everything and more than I ever dreamed of! My brother said it perfectly "I knew the Olympics were going to be amazing, but nobody told me were coming to heaven for a ski race". That about sums up the whole experience so far!!

so stoked!!!!!
Our new home for the next three weeks! Soph and I have been racing together since we were 14 years old- so super fun to have lots of Sodie time! The fun part about our location is we are living in a house, so it feels like a camp atmosphere- all living together!
On another note, racing is coming quickly. I have decided to race in the Pursuit on Saturday, the first nordic event of the Olympics... so unfortunately that means missing the Opening Ceremonies. We wouldn't return from the Opening Ceremonies until 2PM... so I have decided to conserve that energy for skating up the big hills 12 hours later. I have spent the day trying to plan an opening ceremonies up in the Endurance Village for all of us that are racing the following day. My plan is to dress up in all the gear, walk the road up to the Olympic Village, and gather all the other countries. By the time we make it to the Village, we will hopefully collect a dozen countries or so... and suddenly it is our own Opening Ceremonies! Then we can watch it on the big screen over there in the Cinema! Then I will direct all the rest of my energy towards the closing ceremonies!

Missing my little buddies back in AK! I absolutely love waking up to fun little things like this!
Look how much my cheering squad has grown up :)
More updates to come soon when the racing starts!