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Penny Fletcher: Let’s go skiing in a slushee

Penny Fletcher / For the Steamboat Today
Penny Fletcher
© CJ Berg 2009

— Almost too tired to write tonight, so I understand how exhausted Joel and Luke must feel. Yesterday was one of those crazy days and nights.

Watching the historic women’s ski jumping was so much fun. It was interesting to see some of the more conservative Russian residents watching WOMEN compete in a sport that has been dominated by men. That will be a growing sport for the youth of Russia.

The train ride up to the mountain clusters is interesting. Spotless high speed trains that at times are so loaded with people it is like emptying out Investco field.

What I also find interesting is there are very few children at the event, if any. Usually when I travel to these World Cup events, especially in Norway, the children are abundant and involved. These Olympics are not for the common people, it is only for the elite.

I do not believe there is a ski area quite like Rosa Kutor anywhere in North America. The magnitude of the buildings, shops and restaurants is something I have never seen.

Yesterday was a tough day for the younger Fletcher on that horrible hill. None of the guys did great in the jumping but redeemed themselves on the course.

Slush mixed with rocks, dirt, chemicals, salt and oil made up the course. You needed to start with a rough grind, and before you knew it, that grind was full of just junk. Those skis looked like the floor of our garages after a long winter.

Bill (Demong) and Bryan found themselves tangled up in a pile of eight on a corner of the course. They finished the race and are relieved to get on the big hill this week.

Today is a day off for them. We head to men’s hockey, biathalon, men’s team jumping, speed skating and semifinal individual women’s skating. We have two more Nordic combined events to cheer on our team.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I am not sure they celebrate it here. I will be spending it with my sons at a private dinner, and I cannot think of anything better.

Have a great Valentine’s Day Steamboat. Your kind wishes are well received.


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