FIS World Cup Sprint (XC Skiing)

Yesterday the World Cup of sprint skiing was in Drammen - a short 30 minute train ride from Oslo. I wore my 2006 USA Torino Winter Games shirt and had my American flag. I can imagine there was another fellow patriot at the event, but I was not able to spot them in the sea of Norwegian flags.

P.S. I have posted similar stuff on Facebook, so I'm sorry if this is a repeat.

Anyways...I got there while the skiers were warming up. There were many familiar faces and names from the recent Olympics in Sochi, Russia. On the US squad, I saw the one and only Kikkan Randall warming up - definitely in the zone. She has won the world cup sprint title the last two years, so she is a fairly well known name in Norway. Also on the line up was Ida Sargent and Sophie Caldwell. Caldwell placed 6th overall in the sprint competition in Sochi. On the men's side, we had Andy Newell and Simi Hamilton. And of course, the Norwegians were ecstatic when they saw Marit Bjørgen and Therese Johaug -- and the Olympic champ Maiken Falla.
[Kikkan Randall rounding the corner of the qualifying heat]
[Sophie Caldwell - just missed qualifying by a second]
[Marius taking one for the team to help cheer on the Americans]

[Kikkan Randall -in black]
It was a really fun day even though the first half of it I was by myself. Marius eventually managed to sneak away from work with a colleague to watch the quarterfinals with me. An older Norwegian man helped me get towards the front of the crowd with my flag. I cheered as loud as I could, and Marius helped me hoist the flag when the skiers came around the corner.

Sadly, Kikkan only made it to the semi-final round. Classic style skiing isn't her specialty, so I'm sure she'll be great for the skate-skiing race. It was still a very fun afternoon in Drammen. Marius and I met Sophie Caldwell when I spotted her in the cafe we were sitting in, and I got a picture with her. Can't wait to do it again next year!
[With Olympian Sophie Caldwell from Vermont]

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