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Day 1 Olympic Preliminary Heats

Greetings from Peyongchang, South Korea!

Mom and Dad were finally able to get their Internet working in the hotel again, so I have race updates and new pictures to share. Soooo excited!

momalexdad in korea

Today was the first day of snowshoe heats (was yesterday for us due to the time difference). I caught Mom and Dad online at 6am (9pm for them) and was able to get a few pics and the essential updates!

The first two days for Alex are all about qualification and divisioning. The WI State snowshoe events were cancelled this year and they only had his 800m time from two years ago to base his heat on. So he was the lone cowboy in division 1 racing against a completely different division (highly unusual). It’s not fair to take his 800m time and double it for the 1600m – of course you’ll be faster in the 800m right?

Lone USA athlete on the board:

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Runners at the gun (Alex at the far left in blue, and Team Canada in the red):

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Mom said within the first 200m she began crying – he SMOKED everyone in his heat. You can see him below, completely rounded the corner and NO one in sight on the track behind him.

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Mom says it’s amusing how the rumble and bumble goes within the village about who is the “athlete” to watch out for. Apparently – the Canadians dominate the snowshoe events. So, it came as no surprise that the most competitive heat would be loaded with the fastest Canadians. Overall heat placement had: Canada, Canada, USA, Canada. (Any guesses who that USA person was???). Alex’s coach is expecting a better time in the final because Alex will have good competition to fight against. In the prelim, he was just running basically on his own.

The volunteers quickly cover the runners in blankets to keep them warm. Those racing suits are great when you’re running but the minute you stop – it’s freezing!

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Local superstars showed up to cheer on the athletes:

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There was a few hours to kill before the 4x400m relay. Mom and Dad have been enjoying the mountains and the gorgeous scenery

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Alpensia village:

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Then it was time for the relay! Alex would anchor.

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Mom said the team looked very strong, the hand-offs were smooth, and Alex took the team from 3rd to 2nd in his lap! (You can see Alex on his transition and Team Russia waiting for their runner to complete the final hand-off below)

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So early indicators are fantastic. We’re definitely in the medal hunt for both of his events!

Certainly hope no one is minding all the Olympic posts of late. I’m super proud and as long as everyone is finding these interesting, I’ll keep up with them throughout the Games.

Go Team USA – and GO ALEX!

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8 Responses

  1. Alex is a FREAKING ROCKSTAR.

    Seriously, just sent this to my sister and Travis because this makes me so happy.

  2. Woo Hoo Alex! Keep going strong!

  3. So exciting!!!! Go Alex Go!!!!

  4. Great job Alex and Team USA!

  5. How exciting! I’m in on the Alex fan club. Keep us up to date!

  6. How exciting this must be for you and your family. Way to go Alex! I have a 25 yr. old daughter with Down’s syndrome and she loves sports, but unfortunately we live in an area with not much Special Olympic activities. Just to participate in this must be overwhelming for Alex. Good Luck!!

    • We were so fortunate. Before moving to GB, we lived in a small town with no access to programs like these. It was complete luck that we found his school and then discovered how talented he was in endurance sports like soccer and running. So far the folks say he’s handling it like a champ! 🙂

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