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Making Interesting Friends
December 10th 2013
I made friends with a girl from the Virgin Islands when we were racing at Genting and Wanlong and Jasmine is sharing a a room with me here in Beidahu.  Like me, she is in contention for Sochi and we are both equally motivated.  However, she also has the separate incentive of wanting to follow in the footsteps of her father who competed in Albertville in 1992 and with whom we had dinner each evening since he accompanied her to the Chongli races. There is another girl racing here from the Virgin Islands and so the two of them are having a bit of a race -off.

I have met another very interesting man since I have been here.  He is the father (and coach) of the girl from Chinese Taipei.  He was to compete for his Country at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980 when the IOC ruled that Taiwan could not call themselves by their official name of Republic of China or carry the Republic of China flag because it is the same flag that is used by the People's Republic of China. His Country boycotted the Games because of this ruling.   In immediate response, he, personally, designed Chinese Taipei's flag for use at all future Olympic events (the one that is in use to this day); Chinese Taipei being the name they and the IOC agreed that they would use in any Olympic Games.  We exchanged Olympic pins.

The Olympic flag of Chinese Taipei.

In addition to Jasmine, I have become friends with girls from Russia and Kazakstan who are also racing here with the Olympics in mind.

I feel very lucky to be able to travel all over the World with my sport and to meet such friendly yet such interesting people.