Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Normal Hill


Our Olympic experience got rolling in earnest on Saturday morning.   Despite a dodgy forecast, we woke to a fine morning and a nice layer of new snow just above us on Blackcomb Mountain.

We navigated the first day's uncertainties to find the shuttle bus that would take us and our accumulating crew of friends to our first event, the Ski Jumping Normal Hill final.


Like the other nordic events, it would take place at the Whistler Olympic Park, newly constructed in a pristine setting about 20 km southwest of the Village.

Our first glimpse of the ski jumping hill was awe-inspiring.

And that was before the athletes starting flinging themselves through the air over 100 meters.

There wasn't a bad seat in the house.
But Miles still wanted to get a closer look.

Our friend Martin arrived via the early bus from Vancouver, offering an eyewitness report from the Opening Ceremonies the night before.

While Julie, Mitch and Connor enjoyed a picnic in the snow....

... and a bit of official merchandise.
Stephen and Rod rounded out the our American contingent.   Unfortunately, we weren't quite color-coordinated.

The Polish fans showed how it's supposed to be done.

While we expected plenty of Norwegians, Finns, and miscellaneous Scandinavian fans at the ski jumping venue, the size and enthusiasm of the Polish crowd took us by surprise.   They had plenty to cheer about-- their best jumper, Adam Malysz, finished second to Switzerland's Simon Ammann.  (The two would repeat the same 1-2 finish on the Large Hill a week later.)


Miles fit in quite well with Team Poland.


And he was inspired to give the sport a try himself.

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