Winter Olympics: A thrill in personLast week Chris Olafson-Langenbrunner came back from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with an experience you might have thought was captured on the small screen.
Last week Chris Olafson-Langenbrunner came back from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with an experience you might have thought was captured on the small screen.
“It exceeded my expectations,” she said. “TV doesn’t do it justice.”
The director of Community Education for the Lake Superior School District was there cheering on her stepson, Jamie, as he captained the U.S. Olympic hockey team that finished with a silver medal after a thrilling overtime loss to Canada on the final day of the Olympics.
The North Shore was well represented at the games because Chris brought “good luck” items with her from area students. She appeared on the scoreboard video board during a hockey game against Finland holding a poster made by students from Minnehaha Elementary. Students also created handmade cards for the players.
She said the global atmosphere at the Games was inspiring. “It was neat to walk down the street,” she said. “Many countries had their own house [or a section of a hotel].”
There was friendly ribbing here and there, especially before the two games the U.S. team played with Canada. The Americans won a week earlier in the qualifying round and the game Sunday was one of the historic moments of the Winter Games.
“It was so intense,” she said. “Obviously it’s for everything. … It’s hard being in a Canadian venue like that.”
Olafson-Langenbrunner didn’t get a chance to see Jamie other than during the games, but she said he did text his dad, John Langenbrunner (her husband), throughout the festivities.
“They kept the team in the Olympic Village,” Chris said.
She said the family is nothing but proud of Jamie. “John is super proud of his son,” she said. He represented his family, region, Minnesota, and the country at the pinnacle of competition, she said.
Hockey wasn’t the only Olympics event she went to.
She also went to a curling match and attempted to watch a skiing event at Whistler. The event was cancelled due to the soggy weather.
“It’s so spread out,” she said of the Olympic events.
“The people of Vancouver were so welcoming,” she said. “People were so accommodating.”
Transportation was not big problem there either. If you had a ticket you could get on a train or bus for free.