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An amazing opening weekend at the Winter Olympics

Posted by Dan Egan  February 10, 2014 04:40 AM

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The Olympic Park in has been rocking since the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Games here in Sochi, Russia. When the Russian team walked into the Fisht Stadium, the place was electric, and that energy has been pumping from the Black Sea to the mountains for the last three days.

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Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson were the face of America as the men’s and women’s snowboard slopestyle event was the climax to the weekend with Team USA sweeping gold. Their attitudes toward life and their passion for the sport of snowboarding was a refreshing reprieve from all of the negative news stories coming out of the US and worldwide press corps regarding security, gay rights, and construction.

The US women’s mogul team put two athletes into the finals. Eliza Outtrim, who is originally from Connecticut, and Hannah Kearney, who hails from Vermont and Waterville Valley in New Hampshire. It was bronze for Kearney, who failed to repeat her gold medal performance from Vancouver and who was bumped out of the top two spots by two sisters from Canada. The Dufour-LaPointe family had three daughters competing in the mogul event, and the youngest sister, Justine, won gold.

At the Olympics it's all about records and firsts. Jenny Jones became the first person ever to win a snowsports Olympic medal for Great Britain. Many have tried, and her bronze medal in the snowboard slopestyle will make her the cover girl of England for a very long time.

To say that covering the Olympics is a fast pace would be an understatement. My commute to the mountains is two-plus hours on three buses and multiple security checks. The Alpine races start early and the freestyle ski and snowboard events run at night. The women’s mogul event cleared out of the stadium by 2 a.m., I arrived at my hotel at 4:30 a.m., and had to depart for the men’s downhill at 8 a.m. the next day. I spent more hours on the bus than I did sleeping that night.

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The weather has been spectacular – it's been sunny with no rain and almost spring-like. Today features Julia Mancuso in the women’s Alpine super combined event and the men’s moguls skiing us tonight. It's groundhog day here at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and I am loving every moment of it.

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