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Britt Janyk in Austria

Brother incommunicado in Torino

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This week I write to you from the beautiful mountains of Austria. I am not in Italy at the Games, but if I were there I would not be able to write my article! So, maybe there is one positive for not being at the Olympics – the only positive note.

I had originally wanted to have my brother write this week’s article, but he is unfortunately unable to do so because none of the Olympic athletes are allowed to write articles during the Games. IOC Rules. So here I am, once again! I will have my brother write a wrap-up article so that you can be well informed of the Olympic experience.

Last week I watched the opening ceremonies on TV and thought they were amazing, especially when the Ferrari came out! Who doesn’t like fast cars? They put on a great show but just wait until Vancouver has its chance!

I am currently taking a few days off and have come to the small town of Wagrain in Austria to visit some friends. Wagrain is very close to Flachau, where Herman Meier is from, and the skiing is amazing; almost as good as Whistler! I have only skied a little bit since being here because the holidays are on and it is a human slalom out on the ski hill this week – could be good training!

Instead I have been enjoying some ‘roddeling’, which is very similar to tobogganing. The sleds are wooden and you sit on a woven fabric for the seat. Your feet are the breaks out front and you ride down the snowy trails.

There are specific trails for the rodels to go down. Most hills will have one or two trails and there are usually lights on them as well so they can be used at night. Today we rode the main gondola up to the midway station with our rodels in hand and then cruised back down, flying around the icy corners, and always trying to go faster.

The next stop for me will be some Europa Cup races in Garmisch, Germany and then I will be heading to Sestriere. My family is flying over and together we will go to watch the men’s slalom this Saturday. Even though I am not racing, at least I will be there to watch my brother race in his event – that will be very exciting. I am also rooting for Georgio Rocca, the Italian, to win the gold, as he has been skiing very strong all season, but my number one votes will be for my brother and for Thomas Grandi.

I would like to close my article with a special word to a great, great person who I feel very fortunate to have met and known. This is for Dick Hume: I will miss you a lot. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for your service, but I was thinking of you. With your passing I am reminded of how very important it is to live each day to its fullest – I hope to have a wonderful, full life, as yours was.

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