Monday, February 18, 2013

48 Hours in Russia

I've just returned to Colorado after a super quick trip to Sochi, Russia for the Olympic Test Event.   Unfortunately I had complications with my travel plans and didn't arrive until 11pm the night before my competition. It was not ideal. I missed the two training days beforehand and it was all a bit hectic being thrown into competing having never seen or ridden that half pipe before. However I was still stoked to be there.

Heading up the gondola at 8am it was still pitch black and a little eery, you couldn't see anything but the tops of trees lit up by the moonlight. The sun doesn't rise there till about 9am which was strange but they had super duper powerful lights on the pipe, so seeing that wasn't a problem. 

I fell my first run then decided to just put down a safe run which I knew I would land on my second. I ended up in 27th place. Very average result but considering the circumstances I was still happy to have landed something. My friend and fellow Australian Holly Crawford came 2nd, such a fantastic result especially considering it was the best field of riders I've ever seen. 

The next two days I got to check out what the resort, Rosa Khutor had to offer. The mountain itself was awesome, with so much amazing terrain and great snow up top. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Black Sea. The village was something different, kind of like a movie set. It was all closed to the public and there was still lots of construction going on. Security guards were everywhere and to get on the gondola you had to go through a airport like security check, complete with a scan and pat down. There wasn't a shop in sight but I'm sure by next year there will be a souvenir stand on every corner. 

All in all it was a great experience to check out the Olympic venue and I hope to be back for the real deal next year!

Click photos to enlarge
Top of Rosa Khutor is amazing
Blinded by the lights. 9am morning of comp, still dark
Pipe, aerials and moguls course from the distance

Pipe finals

Start of the Boardercross course

The Village
One of the many security guards, interesting uniform. photo: @tora_saurus

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