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2018 Olympic Winter Games Set to Begin – Team USA Press Conference

by Peter Graves

February 07, 2018 (PyeongChang, Korea) – In about 24 hours all the waiting will be over, as the 2018 Olympic Winter Games are set to begin heralded by the pageantry and anticipation of the Opening Ceremonies, here in this remote mountain paradise in the Gangwon Province.

Team USA [P] Peter Graves
This looks like the year that “winter” has been put back into the Winter Games, as much of the talk has centered around the frigid temperatures that have blanketed this area for weeks now. Temperatures have fallen to about -25 in the clear, dark night.

TeamUSA [P] Peter Graves
Friday’s Opening Ceremony is in a lovely, but open-air stadium. Skiing courses are in beautiful condition and all have been groomed to perfection. Following two relatively warm Olympics (Sochi and Vancouver), the temps here mark a massive change. Team USA, for example will be sporting nifty heated parkas, for the opening march.

Hamilton, Caldwell, Newell, Stephen [P] Nancie Battaglia
The theme of the ceremonies is peace, and many spectators and media alike are curious which K-Pop music star might make a special appearance during the two-hour ceremony. The stadium will host about 35,000 people and will be used only four times before it is torn down. Officials are providing each spectator at the opening and closing ceremonies with a blanket, a rain coat and a small heating pad.

Ski Jumping venue [P] Peter Graves
Yesterday Trax attended a press conference with members of the USA Olympic cross-country ski team in the Main Press Center. Here are a few quotes from the event.

Ida Sargent [P] Peter Graves
IDA SARGENT: “it’s nice for me to see the cold temperatures, and despite my injury I feel ready to race.”

Kikken Randall [P] Peter Graves
KIKKAN RANDALL: “The transformation of the women’s team has been incredible. We push each other and make each other stronger. I cannot believe I have now been to five Olympic Games, my first one was 16 years ago. I’ve been to this venue once before, in summer, and I like it. It’s a great Olympic course and very challenging…..”

Jessie Diggens [P] Peter Graves
JESSIE DIGGINS: On the team culture: “We have worked hard to develop a team culture and to have fun. I guess I’m the team cheerleader, and I’ve never had more fun on the road than now. I feel we race fast when we have fun and we played alot of games and things at our team camp (in Seefeld, AUT). On the venue: What’s not to like, I’m from Minnesota…it’s cold and we’re skiing on (part) a golf course. From a performance standpoint: I’ve now been to two Olympics, it’s different from my first Games, but I’m trying not to over-think things…..I feel my shape is coming into peak form.”

Erik Bjorsen [P] Peter Graves
The press conference was very well attended, with an overflow media crowd, a real sign of the interest in this team. Most of the venues are pretty close together making it relatively easy for spectators to move about. Around Alpensia, the vibe is that of a bustling, hip resort town.

Rossie Brennan [P] Peter Graves
The volunteers have been wonderful and are nicknamed the “Passion Crew”. Outside of the Korean work force most of the volunteers here are from the United States followed by previous host nations of Russia and Canada.

Everything looks great, the conditions are excellent, and now it’s Games-time.

Bring on the Olympic Winter Games!

[P] Peter Graves

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