The snow is flying and winter is in full swing here in blustery Sweden!
Er… wait… that’s not right. Oh yeah, that was last November. This year is a whole different ball of wax, or ball of mud as it were.
We arrived last Tuesday to above-freezing temps and nothing but green Swedish tundra to look at as we descended through the clouds of Jamtland. But not to be outdone by the milquetoast meteorological conditions, the Ostersund venue organizers planned accordingly and stowed away close to 40,000 cubic meters of snow during end of last winter. They buried it under a blanket of sawdust and let it sit all summer until it came time for biathletes from around the world to make Ostersund there preseason training ground once again. There is presently a nice 4km loop that spans the entirety of all the various race courses that will be used for the World Cup starting in a little over a week.
The training has been pretty good so far and other than the stark contrast of green grass directly adjacent to white snow, the conditions are pretty normal. I’ve spent the majority of my time getting used to the feeling of snow again – lots of skiing and getting used to skis on the feet while shooting. Tomorrow is the first Time Trial of the year on snow. I’m looking forward to racing the Ostersund course once again!
Other than that, I spent the first week here pining for my beloved laptop which decided to crash the day before I left the States. After arriving at Apple Store in Albany, a brief trip to Tennessee, back to LP, then across the pond with teammate Annelies Cook, my little window to the world is back with me once again. I was a little saddened to realize how attached I am to this internet thing. While my computer was away, I had to do things like read actual books and play my guitar to occupy my free time rather than stare at a digital screen. I cruised through some serious reading and was a little reluctant to turn the beast back on when it arrived. But, you can only stare out into the depths of Swedish darkness for so long before the eyes yearn for something brighter… like a laptop screen. So, after a brief hiatus from the 21st century world gadgets and gizmos, I am now back online, fully pixillating my way from one site to the next as the hum of the hard drive whistles and whirs beneath my fleeting key-taps.