About Nicholas Kohn and Marissa Heiser
Tuesday, Feb. 23
Today was another exploring day in Whistler Village. We went into the many "Official Olympic" stores throughout the area. It’s interesting that some stores are already discounting the prices of some of the merchandise. We understand that this will continue as the final week ends.
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The Olympic mascots this year are based on ancient mythological creatures named Miga, Quatchi and Sumi. Miga is a sea bear (half orca whale and half Kermode spirit bear), Quatchi is a young Sasquatch and Sumi is an animal guardian spirit Thunderbird. Sumi will actually be the mascot of the Paralympics that will begin March 12 in Vancouver. And finally there is Mukmuk, the small and friendly marmot who lives on Vancouver Island. He represents the fans of the Olympics. This adorable little fella is featured everywhere in Whistler by way of stuffed animals, posters and Olympic pins. The young Olympic fans here are absolutely crazy for them. We’ve attached a picture of us hanging out with them in the village.
Today also marked the first day of women’s bobsledding. After the first two runs, Erin Pac and Elana Myers (USA II) are currently in second place behind Canada I. Team Rohbock (USA I) and Team Schaaf (USA III) are tied for sixth place.
The track continues to be a challenge for all of the bobsled athletes. Modifications continue to be made to the track for safety concerns. During the first two days of practice runs for the four-man, two more sleds crashed causing the track officials to furiously shave more ice off of the 50/50 turn 13. Mike’s safety has been our main concern since the Olympics began.
The death of Georgian lugere Nodar Kumaritashvili on Day 1 was such a terrible and heartbreaking beginning to these Winter Games. We were all so sad for him and his family. It is so hard to not have that in our minds every time Mike races. But we are extremely confident in his driving and his concern for his own life and the lives of his pushers.
This sport has always been one of the more dangerous ones and every time a crash occurs it is so shocking. Most new spectators have no idea just how life threatening it can be. We always pray for safe runs and this week is no different. Everyone has been asking us, very sheepishly but with great concern, about the safety of the track All we can do is hope and pray for all of the athletes here competing. God speed all you strong and brave men and women.