Day 1 of Vancouver

We got to Vancouver Sunday evening. We had just enough time to throw our things in our hotel room and go downstairs for dinner which was a quick sandwich and salad so we could run to processing!This was the fun part. I started off in the room to order my Olympic ring design. It was a tough debate but I splurged and got the pricey upgrade. Hey, how many times is a kid going to go to the Olympics right? So I got the yellow gold with diamonds around it. It was either white or yellow gold and just for the sake of wanting a gold medal I’d rather have a yellow gold ring to match.Next, my roomie and I snuck over to the clothing just to check it out and ended up scoring an early spot in line out of our time slot. The ladies working let us go in a half hour early so we got a jump on the rest of our teammates as far as sizes go. I couldn’t believe how much apparel was in this room. They gave me two big rolling bags and a huge duffle to fill them all. They started me in shoes to get fitted for opening and closing ceremonies. The shoes are “chunky”. When you have “large” feet the last thing you want on them is “chunky” shoes! The man assured me it wasn’t as bad as I thought but he may have smirked when he walked away … Anyway, the whole process took an hour or two and then they sent me over to alterations so a stranger could dress me in his own fashion so I look put together for ceremonies.That actually turned out to be fun. As my family probably knows, I wouldn’t have known how to put that classy of an outfit together all on my own. He showed us how to wear our hair to look good with the outfit and everything! After a long day we finally got to go back to our room and jumped in bed.
The next morning we got up early for breakfast and had an ambassador meeting. They just told us pretty much how everything was going to work in the village, with media, in competition, and some other things. They showed us a few videos that were amazing of past Olympic highlights. You could see everyone on the team light up a little watching those moments with USA athletes winning their medals and standing on the podium. The ones that were amazing to me were the Paralympics. They showed a guy with one leg cruising down the mountain carving around the flags like nothing and winning the gold. That’s incredible to me, the courage you would have to have to be able to do something like that.
After the meeting we got on the bus and headed over to the Olympic village! I’ve been trying to imagine this place for months and what it would be like to get here. It looks pretty close to what I imagined but it feels so much more amazing than I thought. It’s absolutely gorgeous here, so nice out, and the view from my room is perfect. Straight out from my balcony is kind of the center of the village with an open area filled with lights and entertainment. The athlete “hang-out” building is to the left with huge Olympic rings on the top, and of course water to my right with the rink, city, and mountains behind it. Like I said, the perfect mix of everything to see. It’s pretty neat to walk around in the village and in the dining hall and see all of the different countries jackets. I’m always trying to read everyone’s clothes to see where they are from. We didn’t have much time until we were back on the bus on our way to practice.Everyone was pretty excited to get on the ice after seeing everything. The rink looks awesome, it’s all done in blue and green and there’s a huge section in the seating for media during the games. We will play three games there then move over to the Canucks arena for the medal rounds.Anyway, we headed back to the dining hall after practice (us girls have to eat!). The food is great and there is everything you can imagine including an all you can eat free McDonalds. Our trainer had us do a contrast cold to hot tub before we went to bed so a few of us went over to the training facility and we met some of the speedskaters, so now we have friends besides each other.That was pretty much our first day in the village. This morning we woke up pretty early again for breakfast and a teammate and I took a lap around the rest of the village to check everything out that we hadn’t seen yet before we went to practice. We pretty much had the rest of the day to ourselves and it was a media day for any press to come in and get any pictures or interviews that they needed.One of the Minnesota girls and I headed over to the athlete lounge which is amazing! It’s filled with different kinds of video games like rock band, arcade games, Wii, and a big wall with fake spray paint cans. The cans have a sensor at the nozzle so when you “spray” it your design shows up on the wall using lights. So if you've ever seen a smart board it’s kind of like one of those but huge.We had some fun with that writing "USA HOCKEY" all over the wall. All of the countries have been putting their colors and sport all over it the last few days. We walked into that building while it was still light out and by the time we left it was dark. But don’t worry, every newspaper or news station in Japan, Canada, China, and a few others didn’t leave without catching me singing and playing my heart out on the drums to my own rendition of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" on Rock Band. Sorry mom and dad I got caught up in the moment. I can blame that on dad for blessing me with his singing voice. I also played the game of my life in pool and got in about 5 balls in and they got that too. One of my only rules growing up was, "don’t embarrass the family," and I always tried my best. Luckily now maybe I’m old enough not to get grounded. Anyway we grabbed some dinner and headed back to the rooms where were lounging on the couch watching a Wayne Gretzky special. So I’ll have to fill you in on the next few days soon!

Openning Ceremony

The last few days have been pretty much a whirlwind. A few days ago we had a chance to sleep in a little bit so I tried to take advantage of that. Around 9 I got woken up by loud music and drums so I walked out onto the balcony and they had flag raising ceremonies for a few of the countries. The voice on the microphone was so familiar though. Within seconds half of my team was on their balconies with was Christina Yang on Grey's Anatomy! I love that show I was so excited. So we got dressed and went down to the stage and she popped down from the stage and got pictures with us. She was really nice.
Our flag raising ceremony was the next day but we had practice so we missed it. I've gotten a chance to meet a lot of the other USA athletes. It's so funny because none of us actually know each other but whenever you see someone in USA your automatically best friends and strike up a random conversation. We have a lounge area to play cards or Wii so me and a team mate go down there to get in some intense rounds of mario brothers daily. We've met a lot of people that way.Gigi (my mario brother) has been writing into Ellen Degeneres and sending in pictures of us with a life size Ellen head doing Olympic things. Well, one of Ellen's helpers emailed Gigi back and they sent us a package with a flip camera, pictures, and flags of Ellen so we can take her with us and send her everything. Were hoping she brings us on the show ha. We took Ellen to openning ceremonies yesterday and got pictures with New Zealand, Argentina, and some other countries. We made some foreign friends too that way.Okay, okay, OPENNING CEREMONIES!!It was incredible. I had so much fun getting into our outfits with the rest of the girls. We got into a big USA group and took some pictures outside with all 216 of us. Waiting around in the building once we got there all in all was about 4 hours before we walked. But that was kind of my favorite part. Apparently every olympics it's a big fight who gets to go last and my team (hockey) has been pushed up to second to last the past two years.Our older girls were determined to not get pushed around this year. So there we were head to head with the snowboarding team and they may have out numbered us. We thought we were being sneaky by lining up a few sections back in the hallway. Suddenly the coed snowboarding team was missing. They outsmarted us and we found them one section further than us hiding in the womens bathroom! The volunteers were trying to make sure everything goes smoothly, then theres two USA teams linked arms playing chicken trying to hold their ground. So I'm sure they weren't happy. Eventually we got one of the cops on our side and they forced the snowboarders forward. VICTORY.Once all 216 of us were together in order we were placed in sync to our marching position. This was my favorite part. Were all in the tunnel waiting to walk out all hudled together and one of the bobsledders starts a USA chant. It was the coolest feeling. Here we are all complete strangers but these next few weeks were one big team representing more than just us all in the red, white, and blue. Then we were sent out into the arena with the flashes and screaming. My parents were somewhere in the sea of white which made it impossible to even begin to spot them, but it was amazing knowing they were there. I'm sure everyone saw the ceremony so I don't have to explain how cool that was although I'll post some pictures. Today I went to the speed skating which was way cooler than I expected it. I had never seen speed skating before but it's incredible how fast they go. Since I'm watching it now on TV no one knows what happens so I'll leave it at that!

My First Olympic game ever

It's been awhile, I've been so busy but I'll try to fill you in on the past week. We played our first game against China and we won 12-1. Coach put me in for the last ten minutes so I got to experience actually playing in the Olympics!! It was so cool. That's all I will get to get in there unless something happens but at least I can say I did it and it was such an experience. It's probably the best feeling ever when you make a save and everybody goes crazy. I'll never forget that. After the game we went back to the P and G house and I got to finally see my family. Up until then I hadn't seen them yet. I'm glad they got to at least see me play for a little bit, it pretty much made my mom and dad's life to see that. My grandparents, brother, and boyfriend are here as well so they got to see me play too. I was so excited to see them after the game. This past week we've played then had a day off, play, day off. So the next day was just practice and hanging out pretty much still trying to beat super Mariobrothers with Gigi. The men's hockey teams got into the village the next day so my team sat in the dining hall in awe for the remainder of the week staring! Our next game was vs Russia which we also won. The games haven't been too exciting thus far. They've kind of been high scoring. We also beat Finland yesterday pretty bad. Now we advance to the semi-finals and compete against Sweden. We should be fine but we have to focus and stick to the things that we do. If we win that game we advance to the GOLD MEDAL GAME vs whoever wins between Finland and Canada. Were moving over to the NHL rink for these last two games so it should be pretty wild. It's bigger and a lot louder! Last time we played in this size rink we had 17,000 fans. Anyway yesterday we had a day off...that never happens. So we took advantage of that and went into the city for some much needed shopping. We hadn't really been able to get out of the village and see things so it was nice to finally see the city, it is absolutely beautiful. I got some things for some people at home but it was so crowded down here it was more of a stressful day than relaxing! Last night they had an event for the men and women's hockey teams to just get together, eat, and visit with all the families. (More opportunity for my team to stalk the NHL guys). It is pretty neat though. I see Jagr in the dining hall everyday and I remember my brother and I watching him when I was like ten. My room mate today had a photo shoot with Vanity Fair that I got to tag along with and be apart of which was pretty fun. They are putting shots of Olympians in the magazine so maybe I'll get in there! While we were there the representative of Oakley was hanging around and I lucked out with a new pair of shades. I'm going to hate going back to real life when this is done.
It's been tough getting to other events with us playing every other day but were going to be able to get to the 
men's USA vs Canada game tomorrow that is going to be amazing!! The men have been playing so well, I'm really impressed. Most of them are pretty nice too we hung out with a few last night after the banquet in our lounge here in the USA building. So we have an early practice tomorrow then we'll come back here to get ready and root on the boys. GO USA! I'm getting really tired of hearing what a good hockey team the Canadians have. I would love for the boys to just take them out. USA is also leading in the medal count! I heard that in Torino we ended up with 25 or 26 medals and we already have 23 with many events to go!
I almost forgot! So I think I told you about Gigi talking back and forth with the Ellen Show. Well we had a "live" feed with her on her show the other day and she asked us questions through the TV and a few of us answered her. She said IF we win gold she will fly us up to LA to be on the show! That will be so fun. Not to mention the trip to LA alone. We'll see!

USA vs Canada

I've been trying to sleep for about an hour but as expected I can't sleep! With the game on my mind and the anxiety about what's going to happen tomorrow I can only stare at the walls. We had our final practice today as a team. It was a quick one but we just needed to get our legs moving and do some final tuning before the big game. Our staff made us a video of the year that pretty much left us all itching to get on the ice. Everyone is so excited to put on their gear tomorrow and show the world what they can do. I have no doubt that if we stick to the things we've been working for since September we can pull of anything. Were ready. We got a quick pep talk email from Mike Eruzione this evenning to bring home the gold. It's always nice to hear those things from the former captain of the 1980 Miracle Team. He's an awesome guy. The men's team have been their own little dream team themselves advancing to the semi-finals. Miller has been a stud between the pipes pulling off a shut-out today vs the swiss. We were all in the locker room getting done with practice as they were coming off the ice after the win so we were able to sneak some high fives. Their game vs Canada was probably one of the best hockey games I've ever seen. I had a slight headache and sore throat the next morning from screaming the entire 60 minutes. What a game! The guys worked so hard the entire game and competed for every goal. The best part was the silent city of Vancouver. For once my team mates and I walked through the city without one rude hockey comment/gesture from the canadian public.
Today I got mail from one of my first coaches ever Larry Wilson when I played at Elyria. He still coaches the mite team and inside the card was a picture of the current mite team with all of their signatures. I loved it! It put such a big smile on my face and it's on my desk in my room here in the village. It's been so fun to see all the different things people have done to support me and my team mates over the past few months (especially these last few weeks). We have cards and posters all over the hall ways of the entire USA building here in the village wishing all of the athletes good luck and to "Bring home the GOLD". Those things mean a lot and definately has brought inspiration to all of us competing here. I know not all of my family and friends could be here in Vancouver but they ALL have made it a point to be apart of this everyday. I couldn't be happier with all of the support and all the people I have in my life because of this experience. It all comes down to tomorrow and either way this has been the most amazing journey of my life. Wish us luck!! Here we go!

    Title Text.