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US Women's Team Get Police Escort to Pursuit

2006 Torino Olympics

Tue, Feb  14, 2006 - By Abby Larson - CXC Web Site

The games started off with an interesting twist. Although I didn't ski to my potential
today, it was a memorable experience! This morning was a real "comedy" of errors...
The US women were supposed to have gotten a private shuttle from the Olympic Village
to the race venue at 8:00 am. Well, our ride doesn't show up and it's 8:20 so we decide to
take one of the buses going from the village but all of the buses in that area are for
spectators only, no athletes. To get on a bus (which don't leave at very regular intervals
anyway), we have to go back through Village security and to the opposite end. We don't
have time for that so we begin to ask people if we can use their cell phones to call our
coach to see what we can do; of course no one offers. It's close to 8:30 now and we still
have a 30 minute ride to the race course where we have to go through security, test skis,
warm-up, get into the start area and have our skis marked. Panic sets in and I begin to
flag down random official looking cars, asking for a ride. No one seems to be going to
Pregellato or they don't speak English. Some of the security guards finally catch on to
what's going on and help us get a ride down to the venue. We were escorted down by an
Italian police officer.

After arriving at the venue and getting through security I'm running to the wax cabin and
slip on some ice. Before I know what's happening I'm yardsaling it onto the unforgiving,
frozen gravel. The pride is hurt but not as bad as my leg. I hobble off and forget about it
until after the race and then I find a shin that's beautiful medley of blues and purples and
about twice the size of my other shin.

The race starts off at a brutal pace and I just never get going. No excuses, I was just off
today. Two more races to go and I hope I can leave here feeling good about at least one
of them.

Someday I'll look back onto this day fondly; until then I'll look forward to that day...

Next race is on Thursday, 10 k classic.

Abby
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