Simi in the Relay, Putin Digs Cross Country

Feb 16, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are very excited to share the travels of Simi Hamilton’s family to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing dispatches from Ruthie Brown and family as they give you a first-hand, “behind-the-scenes” look at the Olympics.

Credit Ruthie Brown

It was over 60 degrees at the venue yesterday, almost 70 in Sochi. They are salting the trails constantly so conditions are still excellent. Fast! The U.S. Team is psyched, Sim skiing the anchor leg of the 4x10 Relay. Two classic two skate skiers each ski 10 kilometers. They will scramble Andy Newell as the other sprinter, Noah the middle leg. Bring it home boys!!

Credit Ruthie Brown

Venues are serviced by a high speed electric rail, 7 gondolas, several chairlifts and endless busses. All run smoothly, Swiss punctual and we've never waited more than a few minutes. Amazing!

Credit Ruthie Brown

Forgot to mention that all transportation is FREE! 

The chairlift with all our American cheering regalia.
Credit Ruthie Brown

The 4X10 Men's Relay got off to a rough start when someone gave scrambler Andy Newell a piano to carry up the last hill leading into the stadium.

Leading into it, he was totally in the hunt and in great position at 5-6th.

Credit Ruthie Brown

We actually thought he might pass out, in which case the team would be disqualified. Somehow he managed to shuffle to the top of the hill and coast into the stadium, dropping almost into last place. Team members Eric Borjeson made an amazing effort, skiing powerfully to close the gap on the next team to tag off to Noah Hoffman. A heroic effort by Noah pulled the US up a few spots, he looked brilliant as he tagged off to Sim who skied off alone, always tough to go at it alone. Not the day they wanted but they certainly can know they didn't leave anything in the tank.

And apparently Putin is a cross country fan. He was at the venue today to watch ha dramatic finish between Russia and France. Sweden cruised in to win the gold but Russia and France traded off leads to the end to take the silver. The crowds went wild – we were all excited for them!