Press-Republican

Monday

February 10, 2014

Russians very nice, says American spectator

On Saturday, Olympian Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake qualified for the men’s normal hill ski jumping final.

Awaiting that thrilling contest, his aunt Therese Blanton posted photos and tidbits about her own experiences at the Winter Games and in Russia. She and other relatives of Frenette found comfortable accommodations in Adler.

Blanton: “Lovely people. Lovely place. Got the transportation system down and it runs like clockwork. It’s about an hour and a half train, bus, walk, gondola from the coastal cluster to the mountain cluster. Many helpful volunteers. Even the pat-down ladies (security) who are either military or police give you a smile. Please tell people not to believe the mainstream media NBC, CNN ESPN etc. Security is tight and visible but appreciated by those of us on the ground here,” she said via Facebook.

In Sochi, ski jumping takes place at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.

“Going up the hill right now for normal hill trials and final competition. Three Americans will be jumping tonight. Peter is having a blast although we’ve only seen him for about 20 mins.,” Therese said.

Doug Haney, communications chief for the United Ski Snowboard Associations, said via email that Lake Placid alpine Racer Andrew Weibrecht was arriving in Sochi on Sunday.

Haney: “We have settled in nicely. The mountain venues are absolutely wonderful and the valley is incredibly impressive.”

For USA Luge, Saranac Lake native Chris Mazdzer stood in 13th position after two of four heats in the men’s competition at the Sanki Sliding Center above Sochi.

Mazdzer: “My first run was the best I had all week. I was extremely happy with that. When you’re sitting in 10th place it doesn’t matter if you’re sixth or 20th. This Olympic race should be all or nothing. I think I have to go a little less conservative than I did (Sunday) and see what happens.”

—Compiled by Staff Writer Kim Smith Dedam

SOCHI 2014 Watch for more Olympic Notes in the Press-Republican from locals in Russia as the Winter Games continue. Luge race events are streamed live at www.usaluge.org.

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