written by Rosalie

Yesterday we arrived in Lillehammer, a ski town about 3 hours north of Oslo. Today we enjoyed a skate ski at the Olympic Park, where Norwegians claim “the best Olympics ever” were held. The stadium was an ongoing flat surface that made the stadium at Oak Hill seem tiny. The trails were extremely steep and technical that made for very little rest. Some of us skied longer than others…those who felt fatigue kicking in from the past few days went back to the stadium to practice some V2. Dennis and I headed over to the biathlon range where we watched a practice relay that the junior national team was doing. Then we skied back to our apartments…it was all downhill!

the crew in Birkebeiner Stadium

We had lots of free time this afternoon so we headed into town in small groups and wandered through the pedestrian street. Helen, Caitlin, Emily, and Kate enjoyed a typical Norwegian waffle and some of us bought ski gear. You parents will be happy to know that laundry was part of our afternoon agenda as well…

This evening we ate a Ford Sayre dinner that beat all Ford Sayre dinners: Norwegian salmon, rice, stir-fry veggies, and Scottie’s famous cookies.

We look forward to a long classic tour tomorrow…

Frogner Park

written by Kate and George

Yesterday, before we left Oslo, We did some historical sight-seeing. Our first stop was Vigeland Sculpture Park, a park famous for its central attraction, a series of scupltures that depict the stages of life and death. These scupltures were scuplted by Gustav Vigeland, there are 212 bronze, granite, and wraught iron sculptures in the 80 acre park. All of the sculptures werre crafted by Gustav. When we arrived coach Dennis posed a trivia question that we would have to discover while in the park. Which of the 212 sculptures was his favorite? We spent quite a while wandering the paths and terraces of the park, we had an educational moment when coach DeFrancis explained the workings of a sun dial located just in front of the monolithic sculpture of hundreds of bodies. In the end we found out that Dennis’s favorite sculpture was the one of a child having a temper tantrum. When we left the park we had a great tour of Oslo that included the royal palace, and the opera house near the harbor. We then proceded to leave Oslo behind for Lillehammer, which for those of us who weren’t born yet was the host to the “best Olympics ever” and the 1994 winter olympics. We had pesto pasta for dinner which was a new twist on the traditional, “red” pasta sauce.

This is a picture of Coach Dennis’s favorite sculpture in the whole park.

another sculpture in frogner park
opera house

Jumping and Seeing Liz

written by Sam M

On Sunday morning, the team split into two groups. One group went to do a long ski, and my group went and watched the ski jumping portion of Nordic combined.  First we drove over to Holmenkollen and parked the car in a special reserved spot, and then we ran down to the stadium.  But on the way we saw two very special people.  The first being Harald V, King of Norway, who promptly arrived to watch the event when we did.  The second was US Ski Team skier Liz Stephen, who was on her way to the race when she saw us walking, and hopped out of the van to say hello.  We walked down to the stadium with her and we watched the jumpers fly.

King Harald V

warming up after the jump

Staying Warm at Holmenkollen

By Helen and Kate

While we were cheering at the 30/50k races we (Helen, Kate, and Rosalie) were very cold during the women’s 30k race.  With hours left at the race site we were jealous of the Norwegians’ nice warm fires and tents.  They were completely prepared for the day which we had thought would be sunny and warm the entire time.  Finally, we decided to ask one of the groups if we could warm up by their fire.  We were obviously Americans to the Norwegians; we could tell because without saying a word they would start talking in English to us.  Shivering and glancing longingly at the fires we finally came up with the courage to ask.  To our surprise they warmingly welcomed us and we quickly took up seats by the fire.  They must have thought that the Americans were very funny because they pulled out all of their cameras and got pictures with us.  We felt like celebrities.  After drying out our things and thanking them again and again ( in Norwegian “takk” means thank you), we departed from the fire before we overstayed our welcome.  In this visit we discovered how nice and welcoming the Norwegians can be.