Soldier Hollow during the Olympics.
The crowds were unbelievable!! Well mannered, loud which was wonderful, happy and appreciative. I could go on and on with the kudos but I think you get the picture. They were delightful!! It didn't matter if it was cloudy, rainy, snowy, and really cold, their demeanor never changed. They hooted and hollered, rang their cow bells and waved flags for all of the countries and made them feel really welcome.
One of the best things that happened was that the public was allowed to be along the ski trails and most anywhere they wanted to go within the boundaries.
This is one side of the bleachers, with the exact same on the back side of the windowed building. That building, by the way, is a removable trailer media building. The snow mobiles headed up the hill belong to the ski patrol. Most areas were defined by the use of portable fencing and metal barricades.
The people in the bleachers have their backs to the trails and are looking at the Biathlon area and towards the day lodge. Biathlon means, that the athletes ski and shoot. For every target they miss, they have to ski around a different area which will add minutes to their total score. You haven't seen anything until you have seen someone without any arms shooting a gun! The athlete from Germany, without the arms, had something attached to the trigger on the gun and he held the other end of it in his mouth. Amazing doesn't even describe it and how about a blind person shooting? The blind wore a set of head phones that when they were electronically on target they would hear a sound and they would know when to shoot. Equally amazing. The media building also had one of those huge athlete banners on part of the front. That wall looking thing behind the ski patrol, is the score board and the yellow things are pulled like trailers behind the snow mobiles and are used for either bringing people up to medical or to carry things. The building to the right of the media one, is the CMB. Course Management Building.
This is just a small part of the crowds around the trails. The bridge was constructed so that people could get from one side to the other without having to cross over the groomed trails. If you take a good look, people are also standing on the bridge and all along the trail. Look really close too, and you can see some of the skiers on the course. Can you believe that the trails were at least three feet thick?
How about this for people being all along the course!
The Course Management Building and more people! This shot is on the right side of the building facing from the day lodge. It didn't matter if it was a Biathlon or Cross Country event, people were all over the place. In fact the bleacher seats cost more money than the tickets to be along the course! With all of the hype about how expensive things were, I think that Soldier Hollow was one of the best kept secrets of the whole games. Can you believe only $25 for the course tickets during the Olympics and only $10 during the Paralympics?
Some of the barricades and, yup, more people! When you see those black lines throughout the area, they are people! The athletes always commented on how fresh the air was and they couldn't get over our blue sky. A lot of them were literally overwhelmed by it all. One came in and just stood inside the door and all he could say was "wow". He said that over and over again and then finally when ask what the wow was, told us that he had never seen anything so beautiful in his life. He said that a lot of times the snow is dirty and the air is dirty but here, he just was amazed at how wonderful it was.
If you can, I would really suggest that you find a way to copy and enlarge these pictures! They are absolutely beautiful when they are much bigger. It takes too much time the way that I have them here as it is or else I would have made them bigger. Sorry for the inconvenience of having to wait for them to download.