Hack Chat with Tracy Sachtjen, Fifth Player of the USA Women’s Olympic Curling Team

by Free Speech on March 3, 2010

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI

March 1, 2010 ~ Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games

I am on my way home from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.   First of all I want to apologize for not blogging since the 17th of February, it seemed to get a little hectic with the games and my family arriving.

As you probably know the curling competition didn’t go quite like I was expecting.   We had some tough games, losing nail biters and then some not so close games.  But the rest of my Olympic experience has been so much more than I expected.    Read on……..

First of all, the Proctor and Gamble House that was for family and friends of athletes was just so nice and comforting.   Each day the house was open for lunch and dinner and snacks throughout the day.   There were 4 floors, the basement had huge round tables with 3 big screen televisions to watch all the Olympic Games and it was where all the good food was served.  The 1st floor is where there was a huge family room with very comfy couches, bean bags and seating area with huge screen televisions, snacks and computers with internet access that everyone had access to.   The 2nd floor was my son Desmon’s favorite, there was a Pringle Lounge -you could taste test 24 flavors of Pringles, plus they had a WII Station set up there with 2010 Olympic Games and there was the Pamper Station for anyone with toddlers and babies, a room to run and play, there was a Crest Room where you could get your picture taken and they would put you on a snowboard, skiing, speed skating or any other Olympic Sport.   Then the 3rds floor was my daughter Sierra and niece Tory’s favorite – Spa Room, you could get your hair or make-up done, hand or foot massage and other pampering necessities, also on this floor was the Tide Room – you and/or your family could drop off their laundry and come back and pick it up 24 hours later all cleaned and folded.    This was a great place to meet and/or hangout with family and friends, plus you were able to meet many other athletes and their families.  My kids met many athletes here and medalists, they were quite excited.   Thank you Proctor and Gamble for your generosity!

On our teams day off of curling  I was able to go to the semi-final women’s hockey game USA versus Sweden with my family and a couple of friends.   It was a good game for the USA and fun to cheer them on, we had many Canadians cheering against us, I guess they didn’t want to meet us in the finals.    We won 9-1.

After the curling games were over, my family and a couple of friends took a trip, which consisted of a train, sea bus, a bus and a cable car to Grouse Mountain.   When we got on the cable car there was no snow. About ¾ of the way up the ground was finally all white.    Grouse Mountain lodge is where the Today Show was televised during the Olympics and also a hangout for all the adventurous folk, it was open 24 hours a day during the Olympics.    We had a nice lunch up there and decided to go ice skating and since we didn’t have the attire to ski, the family instead went limo skiing, which isn’t even close to skiing but at least you got to ride down the mountain.    The downside that day was it was very foggy on our way up on the cable car so there wasn’t much to see, but by the time we got up the mountain the fog had disappeared and the view was magnificent and then on our way down the cable car in the evening the view of Vancouver was amazing, we were able to see the torch lit up and the Olympic rings on the water were lit up in gold for the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team who just won gold that evening against the USA.

My family was able to go to the Women’s Snowboard Cross event in Cypress one day, they really enjoyed this event, even though it rained the whole time they were there and by the time they got home all they wanted to do was take a very hot shower to warm up.   That evening we went to the medal ceremony at the Canada Place, it was when Jeret “Speedy’ Peterson from the USA received his Silver Medal in Freestyle Skiing.   Right after the ceremony there was a concert with a very popular Canadian Band “The Newfoundland and Labrador”, it was a great band to dance to.

I was able to take my daughter Sierra, nieces Tamara and Tory to the Athlete Village one day and another day I was able to take my son, Desmon and husband, Karl.    How it works to get a pass to the village, is you have to put a request in days before with all their passport information, then you find out the day before if they were chosen to come to the village.    The USA athletes are only able to bring 40 guests in a day into the village, which seem like a lot but it really isn’t with over 218 athletes.    My visitors were able to check out our Penthouse and take some pictures of our beautiful view, they toured  he fitness facility which is very nicely equipped with the most modern workout equipment, shopped in the athlete store, went in  the cafeteria and ate a few items from McDonald’s and hung out a bit in the Vitamin Water Red Shed ~ which was a hangout for athletes, you could play many kinds of video games, paint on the big screen, watch Olympics on the big screen televisions, get on the internet, play shuffleboard, shoot pool or just relax.    They all enjoyed seeing the athlete village and running into all the amazing athletes.

My last full day in Vancouver I was hoping to get a ticket to the USA versus CANADA men’s hockey game – but that didn’t happen – there were only about 35 tickets given out in a lottery to the USA athletes.   My teammate Allison did get a ticket, I was so jealous!    Since I didn’t get a ticket I decided to go for a nice run down by the BC Place where the hockey game was being held, I just love hearing the energy from the crowd and seeing all the fan’s dressed in their Canadian or USA attire.    I then ended up watching the hockey game in the cafeteria, where everyone no matter what country they were from was glued to the television.    When the hockey game went into overtime, I ended up going back to the Penthouse and watching the rest of the game with my teammates, we had the windows open so you could hear the crowd roaring from the BC Place.   It was such an exciting game for everyone and a great way to end the competition of the Olympic Games; it would have been sweeter if it was a USA victory though.

The Closing Ceremony was a bit different than the Opening Ceremony; first of all we only had to leave two hours before the ceremony instead of four.    Our team got dressed in our Ralph Lauren attire and took lots of pictures before we headed down to meet the rest of team USA.    We went to the BC Place with all the other USA Athletes and stood in line for a good hour and ½ before we were able to go into the ceremony.   Waiting, ended up going quite fast, we walked around talking to all the other athletes and congratulating all the medalists and taking lots of pictures.       When it was time to walk into the BC Place, all the athletes from all the countries walked in together instead of one country at a time, which was neat.     The ceremony was much shorter than the opening ceremony; there was lots of great music, acting and Canadian traditions throughout.   The closing ceremony was much lower keyed than the opening and a sense of sadness came over me because my Olympic experience was coming to an end, especially when the flame went out on the torch.   All of us athletes were sent down on the main floor to mingle and dance while there was still music playing; it was time to say our goodbyes to all our new friends and competitors.    When the ceremony was over we walked back to the village thinking of the many memories we were going to take away from this experience of a lifetime.

I want to say thank you to VANCOUVER for the unbelievable hospitality you have and the AMAZING place that you live.

Also, a big thank you to all the great supporters I have had throughout my Olympic experience.


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