The Sochi Olympics are over. Our local athletes are all now officially “Olympians” and will have this terrific experience with them for the rest of their lives. We invited them each to give us a few sentences to sum up their Olympic experience.
The Olympics are quite a thing. Once every four years the whole world gets really into watching sports, many of which are usually never shown on TV except during these three weeks. Athletes shape their training to allow them to hit the peak of their careers at these three weeks, and there are medals provided that quite literally have gold in them. But the coolest part of the Olympics for me, was that through all of the ups and downs, stress, and pressure to perform at its highest, our team didn't once forget how important being a true team really was. We supported one another, perhaps better than ever, and though we did not see the results we wanted to see and believed we would see, we never once lost the spirit that got us to this point.
The Olympics have been an incredible experience and have left me more inspired than ever. Wearing the stars and stripes and representing team USA these past couple weeks was a blast. I have never felt more adrenaline and excitement than I did walking into the Opening Ceremony or on the startline for the sprint. I have also never pushed my body harder than I did over the top of the last hill in the 10km classic. It was also amazing to share this experience with Han, Susan, and Liz!
I hope everyone enjoyed watching the Games as much as we enjoyed competing. It was a thrill to be "in the mix" and in serious contention for biathlon's first podium. Next time... That feeling will fuel me for the rest of our World Cups this season and the summer training to come. We've had tremendous support from back home, and I can't wait to see the next generation fired up. It doesn't matter what you do, just find something you love and dare to dream.
Going to the Olympics was an amazing experience in so many ways. It was a beautiful and unique place, the races were fun and even more exciting than usual, and everything was really nice for us. But I think what made it most unique was the awesome amount of excitement and pride and cheering we got from people back home in Vermont. I was so proud to be there with these girls that I grew up skiing with, and I know that we were all blown away by the support from everyone at home.