Saturday, February 24, 2018

What an ending....

Saturday was my last full day at the PyeongChang Olympics. My last blog post was written on Saturday shortly after I left the Big Air competition at Alpensia Ski Jumping Center. I am writing this one about seven hours later as I sit in my apartment waiting for the laundry to finish up.
When I left the Big Air competition, my plan was to come back to the apartment, do the laundry, finish packing and then go to a curling match tonight. However, not long after I threw my laundry into the machine, I realized that the US men’s curling team was playing for the gold medal in just a few minutes and why would I not go to that?
So I left straight from the laundry room, bringing only my phone and my credentials and hopped on the bus to the curling center. I got there in the second end and was able to watch an incredible match and got to see the US win its first ever gold medal in curling. It was a great atmosphere and I thought it was a pretty fitting way to end my Olympic experience this time around.
I should note that today I seemed to have a stalker. When I arrived at the jumping center for the Big Air competition this morning, Matt Pepin from the Boston Globe told me that he heard Ivanka Trump was going to be at the event. I’d seen her all over the Korean news when I was riding the bus, so I knew she was around. Sure enough, shortly before the competition started, she emerged from near the top of the bleachers and took a seat along with a few other dignitaries and what looked like US Olympic Team members (though I can’t be sure of that). While she stepped out for a brief moment, she remained for the entire event and got to see American Kyle Mack win the silver medal.
Of course, her presence made getting out of the jumping center a bit of a pain, as security cars were parked everywhere and our bus could do nothing but sit for a few minutes before finally the cars were moved and we got through.
As I was arriving at the curling venue, I noticed a big security presence around one of the doors and as I was walking in, a motorcade pulled up, so I guessed that there would be a dignitary in the house at curling as well. Not long after I walked into the press area, Ivanka came out and sat in the seats above the center of the rink. Again, though she stepped out for a few minutes, she remained for the entire match and got to see the historic gold medal win for the John Shuster rink.
Tomorrow morning, I head for the train station, which takes me to the airport and then eventually to my car at Logan Airport and home. It’s been a good ride.

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