Kaylin’s Epic End to 2013

The end of my 2013 was, might I say… epic? December was a whirlwind that included stops in Minneapolis, Beaver Creek, Atlanta, New York City, and the alps of France. Some of the highlights were:

Watching my former teammates and friends compete at the Beaver Creek alpine World Cup, Birds of Prey. I was at the event with Helly Hansen, official baselayer provider of the U.S. Ski Team, hanging out at their trailer and explaining to people why anything HH makes the perfect Christmas gift and just talking shop with people at the races. With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi just a mere month and half away, the gravity of every race is palpable and the crowd feeds off the energy. Ted and Bode’s one-two finish in the GS was incredibly exciting.

Visiting The Weather Channel Headquarters in Atlanta. I am going to be the Olympic Correspondent for The Weather Channel during Sochi this February and had to meet the team for some preliminary planning! I especially enjoyed having dinner with Maria LaRosa and Mike Bettes the night before I appeared on their show, Morning Rush. TWC HQ is an extremely cool building with forecasters, meteorologists, web designers, multiples studios, executives, etc… all under one roof with a totally open design. After meeting everyone and discussing my role in Sochi with them, I could not be more thrilled. My main objective is to translate how the weather affects the athletes- from their plan the night before to their preparation and strategy the day of. Weather is a huge factor in the winter games and I look forward to making that link understandable and entertaining.

Meetings in Rockefeller Center. I flew directly from Atlanta to NYC to meet with TWC’s people in NYC. Rockefeller Center is impressive- there is no other way to explain it. Not only is it an iconic landmark in New York, but it also holds a very important place in TV history. Being in the control room of any of the studios therein is a very cool experience. I made the rounds with producer Mike Jenkins and had a myriad of meet-and-greets thanks to his connections. My lunch with Stephanie Abrams (co-host of Wake Up With Al) definitely stands out as one of the best first impressions ever. We quickly became chummy- she and I will be trouble, of the best sort, in Sochi. A kindred spirit and hilariously intelligent woman, I cannot wait to have some fun in Russia with Steph. I also had the pleasure of running into my dear friend and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Seth Wescott as he was doing the media rounds before Sochi. Unbeknownst to us we even ended up appearing on SI NOW Live together with the lovely and ever talented, Maggie Gray. Before taking off again, I even had time to get my pic in front of the magical Christmas Tree and do the teensiest of holiday shopping.

Covering the finish of the Epic Race. It all came down to 9am on December 20th when over 100 Epic Racers received puzzles that led them to their final three photo/video tasks. It was a chaotic mad dash in and around Brides Les Bain to the top of Meribel, but when all was said and done I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to chronicle.

I was merely a cheerleader, but it was a blast. Laughing is my absolute favorite thing to do in the whole world, with skiing a close second which made my time in France as close to perfect as it could be. After the scavenger hunt came to a close on the 20th everyone convened at an Après extravaganza/party at La Folie Douce. Champagne was poured, stories were shared and fun had by all. The icing on the cake was on the 21st when Epic Racer Nick Greece took me up in his paraglide- it was incredible. There is no better way to see the french alps, and besides skiing, I have never experienced something that is simultaneously thrilling and peaceful.
As I packed my bags to make my way home for the holidays I couldn’t help but think that the 2013/14 ski season may be the best ever. It certainly is starting that way…

For now,
Kaylin

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