Wow. I do not even know what to say about my time at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. I had no idea what to expect and every bit of it exceed my expectations. I want to tell every story in detail but IDK if there is even enough space on the internet for that, so I present to you my "Short Stories of the Olympics: A Collection":
I LOVE GOLD
Keeley, Kelly and I went back and forth everyday going through the day's (and trip's) highs and lows. Thank god our "lows" never went much further than coffee shops not being open at a decent hour (another story for another post), but our highs changed almost everyday. Then, half way through our trip, we went to see cross country skiing. TBH, it was the top sport I wanted to see but as we got closer to heading out to the mountains I thought "how fun can this really be?" I meannnnn, I have never been more wrong in my life. Once we got to the stadium we found out that 1. USA was actually competing, 2. It was a sprint relay race, so easier to watch, and 3. It was a medal event. Now that we were cross country skiing experts we grabbed a beer (or 6) and buckled down in our great seats (right by the finish) for some #sports. In a sprint relay 2 team members ski a course 3 times each, so six runs in total. Full disclosure: I thought it was 6 different people the whole time until about 36 hours later. After watching men's and women's semi finals we were very pleased when the US made quite the appearance and moved onto the finals. As the sun was setting on the mountains the top woman were finally off to race for a medal. As the 6th lap was underway we were so excited to see our girls doing really well, until the last turn and it hit us that not only were they doing well they were less than a second from winning gold. I can't put in words how exciting that last 100 meters were and the last second when Jesse Diggins passed Sweden right at the finish to win gold! The first medal (gold, silver, or bronze) for the USA in any cross country skiing event. It was a feeling of excitement and pride I will never forget. I said this a hundred times but seeing the US win a gold medal was something I never knew I had on my bucket list, but I am glad I checked it off. One of the top memories of my life! XX-country skiing 4 lyfe.
PINNING IS LIFE
One of the most important bits of information I took back from the Olympics: Pinning is life. That is right people, it was not that even in the world we live in we can all stop for 2 weeks and love each other or that Korea makes my soul happy. Although both of these statements are true, none are more important than the pinning culture of the Olympics. Keeley, Kelly and I were a little late to the game regarding this culture, but MAN did we embrace it. After our first visit to the Olympics Super Store (a huge souvenir shop) we noticed people with a ton of pins (hundreds if not thousands) trying to sell them outside the store. Well at least I thought they were trying to sell, I am slightly jaded from all the street selling around NYC. What they were actually doing was trading. The next day while on the train to one of our events we met an American living in Norway who was one of these collectors invited by the Olympics to come and volunteer, He started talking to us about the culture and that some pins are so rare that they can PAY for someones trip to the Olympics. It is basically a form of currency. Case in point: this nice man, who was a volunteer for the Olympics with passes and credentials, had pass for the train but not a physical ticket. Not thinking he would need his wallet he did not have the $8 for the train ticket so Kelly paid for his ticket. In turn he repaid her with a Norway team pin. It turned a semi-awkward situation into a super authentic pin culture situation. He also was a great guide for us once we did get to the mountains, so the least we could have done is get his ticket. Needless to say we made a few more stops to the Super Store for more pins. Pinning was a game changer and the main reason I never want to stop going to the Olympics. XX-country skiing and pinning 4 lyfe.
Our last day in PeyongChnag/Gangneung was spent as a Canadian. We partied at the Canada House (they had me at free poutine at 3pm) and rooted on Canada later that day in the bronze medal curling match (wearing our new Canada merch). We even confused a family we met at xx-skiing and then ran into again at the curling match as they could have sworn we were American. We had to put our tail between our legs and confess that we were Canadian imposers. After a crazy exciting (please sense the sarcasm) curling match we headed back to the Canada House. We grabbed a beer, posted up at the bar, and at the same time all three if us gasped as we eyed no more than 5 feet away from us Scott Moir. He has quite the credentials (him and his partner Tessa are the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history) and he is a total babe. Being legit star struck, Kelly and Keeley were v v brave and went up to talk to him while I just scurried behind them forgetting how to talk. He was having a great time and was so nice. Anyone else a fan? He danced to Moulin Rouge, so if you are not a fan you obviously were not a preteen girl in 2001. XX-country skiing, pinning, and Moir 4 lyfe.
GANGNEUNG, WOODEN HANOKS, AND POO-POO
Another wonderful plus of our time at the Olympics is that we had such an enjoyable time even outside of the games . We stayed in a wooden hanok (old school Korean wooden house) owned by the most lovely family. They provided delicious breakfast and strong home brewed coffee. Also they provided puppies. 6 weeks old and adorably part of the family. One was named Poo-Poo and of course we died a little over that name and loved him the most. But they were all very lovable (as was their sweet mom). We stayed in Gangneung which is where the main Olympic Village was and is a substantial city in itself outside of the Olympics. Located on the beach, the city did a great job getting ready for the games. Around where we were staying and near the village there were not a lot of places to eat, but we were lucky to find the cutest coffee shop with the most decadent mango smoothies. I will dream about them forever. XX-country skiing, pinning, Moir, and Poo-Poo the Puppy 4 lyfe.
1. Pretty snow at the biathlon track
2. Commercial debut in a NBC USA hockey ad
3. Seeing USA men's play hockey where we were filmed for above commercial debut
4. Along with all of the above short story topics the PyeongChang 2018 official mascot , Soohorang, is also lyfe.
What are your guys' thoughts? Any desire to go to the Olympics? Let me know in the comments!