By now you have all heard that the US ladies won the Team Sprint, and with Norway’s silver Marit Bjorgan is now the most decorated Olympian. Great to see both the Canadian Team of Len Valjus and Alex Harvey, and the US Team advance to the finals last night under the bright lights of the Pyeongchang Nordic venue. The crowds, though sparse, were excited! The US wax techs certainly did their magic on  Jessica Diggins’s skis as she gained meters on her fellow skiers on each of the 2 downhills.

Further proof of dust or pollution in the air here, as we have a phenomenon known as “Diamond Dust” happening. At home we see these super light, large crystal, sparkling, snowflakes falling  when it is very cold on clear nights.  But this morning it is only -8, a clear blue sky, and the water vapour in the atmosphere is depositing on  minute airborne particles and drifting towards the ground. (I did have to look this up).

Last night I renovated both courses again. It was high time as the upper layers have gotten very hard with all of the grooming, snowmobiles, a few days above freezing, strong sun, and of course thousands of skiing laps. The broken snow cut by the renovator blade actually plugged and stopped the tiller from turning a few times and I had to lift, back up and start again. The entire coarse is “snow white” again this morning. Today, I will remove the blade as it needs to be picked up and driven to Biathlon. If the underpass between Biathlon and Cross Country would have been the same size as all of the other ski bridges, the sharing of the renovator would have been much simpler.

Tonight we start the challenge of preparing for the final weekend of the Classic Long Distance events.Tomorrow, Friday, is Official Training, followed by Saturday’s Men’s 50km and on Sunday the Women ski the 30km. We are still, after 30 days, undecided about how to fit all of the tracks into some of the tighter sections of combined Red and Blue course. Lars and I have long figured it out but the Jury is literally “still out”, and, plans are being modified every day. Well they have less than 12 hours to let us know. Good news, the Snowmobile Camera routes have been shortened slightly to avoid the 2 constricted areas.

Course Controllers (photo 424) with their tablets are placed along the course to video technique infractions and interference. As the entire site has Internet access the video clips immediately upload to the Cloud and are reviewable by the Competition Committee and Jury as needed. The controllers have battery backups and presumably a spare tablet as well. They seem to work well in the cold weather, but keep in mind that with only 2 categories of competitors at Olympics, Men and Women, sometimes on separate days, the events don’t last long.

 1/ Replaced the Blade with the Renovator. This morning I switch it back. Biathlon needs it.

2/ Russians taking waxing almost as seriously as the Norwegians…and Canadians of course! But the Americans nailed it last night!

3/ Many American Fans here – very discreet. They were excited last night (Team Sprint Gold)

4/ Kassbohrer Technicians in Korea – I have his number and the heater works again in the cab.

5/ Norwegian Sprint team in the Athletes Food Tent , Klaebo on the left with the telltale neon glasses

6/ Course Controllers

That is it for now. Don’t miss seeing the next races!

Cheers Dirk