Montafon, Austria: The front lobby of the Montafoner Hotel is alive with movement. Athletes from across the world gather at the front desk for check-in while bags and gear litter the floor. Fellow competitors greet each other in a melting pot of customs ranging from three kisses on the cheeks, two kisses on the cheek, hugs and handshakes. I giggle to myself a little, wondering how my foreign friends on the World Cup Tour would react to me ‘sniffing’ their cheeks, a customary Yupik greeting. Eskimo kisses aren’t a common sight here.
This is the first stop on 2014 World Cup Tour and one of five Olympic qualification events before the Sochi Olympic Games. The excitement and anticipation in the air here is so thick you can touch it, toss it around and play catch with it. After this summer of 5-day-a-week intensive physical training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, this atmosphere feels amazing in my lungs. I am ready for it, the last and final road to Sochi begins tomorrow!
Thank you for reading! Please check my blog for day-to-day updates and reflections on this thrilling season of Olympic qualification!