My entry today is late because Rachael and I were up at 5:30 am so that she could skate two sessions before we headed back to Colorado Springs to train for the rest of the week. It is just like Rachael to have a late night practice (where her mentor Dorothy Hamill came by for a visit), be short on sleep and then get up the next morning and skate two clean programs. That is what she did today. Lori Nichol, who is attending as a coach for Patrick Chan, dropped by practice yesterday morning to work with both Rachael and Mirai.
In case you are wondering, it is very common for the ladies of figure skating to either miss the opening ceremonies and arrive later or come for the opening ceremonies and train at another location outside the Olympic venue no matter which country they represent. Tara Lipinski did this in Nagano in 1998 when she left to train in Osaka. Sarah Hughes did this in Salt Lake City in 2002 when she left to train in Colorado Springs. This was part of our plan and we are now home only because Colorado is a two-hour flight from Vancouver.
After practice, Rachael and I along with two other members of Team USA learned a bit about curling from a local instructor at the rink where we were practicing. We got to throw the 44 pound stone a couple of times and sweep the ice to make it go. It really was quite fascinating. Even though it looks like it is not much of a sport, I can testify otherwise. The instructor said that we would be using muscles that we haven't used before and he was right. The inside of my calves and lower abdomen are very sore this morning. That said, our experience yesterday fits in with both of my philosophies of learning something new everyday and having fun and creating memories every time we participate in competitions.
The Olympic Village is the place to see the famous athletes. Shaun White is one of the most popular and easily recognizable and several of the skaters have seen and eaten with him. Vice President Joe Biden is here and Rachael was one of the athletes who got to meet him. By the way, coaches are not allowed to attend certain functions and that was one of them, however, the entire US Olympic Team will be invited to the White House soon after the Olympics and I am sure I will attend so all hope is not lost on meeting the vice president.
Today on our way home k.d. lang was in the the Air Canada lounge. I said hello and thanked her for making the opening ceremonies so special. She was gracious. I was a big fan of hers in the late eighties when she was very popluar. After that, a few minutes later while we were waiting to board our flight to Denver, Rachael, her mom and I sat with 2008 Summer Olympic Gymnastics Champion Shawn Johnson, her dad and her agent. Shawn and Rachael have done several shows together and know each other.
Even though I am not in Vancouver for the next few days, I have gathered information for several blog entries before I head back to the Games, so stay tuned!
Question of the Day: Is there more than one Olympic village?
Answer to the question of the day: Lori Nichol choreographs for 8 skaters at the Olympic Games: US Champion Rachael Flatt, Mirai Nagasu, and 2009 World Champion Evan Lysacek, Canadians and both World Silver Medalists Joannie Rochette and Patrick Chan, Carolina Kostner from Italy and Tomas Verner from the Czech Republic and the 2010 Olympic Pairs Champions Shen and Zhao from China.