Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mother Russia & The Room 8 Bears!

After coming home from the Olympics Bree and I received a call asking us to travel to Russia to help homologate, which means test the safety and structure of a new track near Moscow. How could we say no to a fully funded ‘Bobsled vacation?!’ We traveled to Russia with Annie O’Shea and Matt Antoine some of our skeleton teammates where we were treated to some Russian hospitality. Each day we went to the track, took two runs, gave the FIBT feedback on the track and then went on a new tour around Russia. We were fortunate enough to see some amazing churches, The Red Square, many historic museums, and other very interesting parts of Russia. The Russian Bobsled Federation was very excited to have us and other nations involved in the successful homologation of the track.
                                                     The start of the Bob track in Russia

After traveling almost 20 hours back to California I was able to stop by Miss Pavlos class at Baker Elementary in San Jose. I was inspired to visit her class after receiving an amazing letter from one of her students, Athena, while I was at the Olympics. Athena obviously spend many hours on the letter and picture that she sent to me, which included a Room 8 Bear penny for me to rub for good luck. Her letter was one of my favorites and was posted by my bed throughout the Olympics. I rubbed the penny she gave me for good luck each day before I went to the track. I was excited to finally meet her and tell her how much her thoughtful note meant to me. I shared my Olympic experience with her and her classmates and was surprised by her with flowers and a gold medal that she made for me. The students were very excited to meet me, but I do not think they fully realized how gratifying and exciting it is for me to be able to share knowledge I have learned throughout my life. I also met a student of Miss Pavlos, Erika, who enjoys dirt biking, so I was able to give her fellow ITA athlete Lea’s information on the Little Bellas group and the camp that is coming to Monterey. Thank you to Miss Pavlos and Athena! I had a great time meeting with your class and I hope to come back really soon.

                     Miss Pavlos Class: The Room 8 Bears!