Russell Currier has had little opportunity to explore the other sights and sounds of the Winter Olympics that the magic of television delivers to millions of Americans each evening.
“We haven’t had much free time at all, much less time to explore the other athlete villages,” said Currier, the Stockholm native who is competing in Sochi, Russia, as a member of the U.S. Olympic men’s biathlon team. “We’re all busy either replying to emails, training, racing or just trying to get from point A to B. Nailing down the logistics is a nightmare over here.”
Currier did get the opportunity to visit with his parents, Chris and Debbie Currier, who are on hand to watch their son compete.
“After a couple of failed attempts, I was finally able to see my parents one afternoon, he said. “They are having a good time — maybe a little exhausted but having fun nevertheless.”
Currier may have more time for exploration during the coming days, as he expects to compete next in the final men’s biathlon event, the 4×7.5-kilometer relay on Saturday, Feb. 22.
“Hopefully this weekend I will be able to make it down the gondola for change of pace,” he said.
The 2006 Caribou High School graduate is coming off a 50th-place finish in the 20-kilometer individual race Thursday.
Currier was third among four Americans in the event with a time of 55 minutes, 7.5 seconds at the Laura Cross-Country and Biathlon Center in Sochi’s Mountain Cluster. That time included four misses among his 20 shots in the combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
“With a minute added on per miss, it’s hard to have a good one with even one miss,” said Currier, who had finished 61st in his Olympic debut, last Saturday’s 10-kilometer sprint. “I took two misses in the first stage and another in the second stage. It was nice to come back after a couple of rough stages by cleaning the last two. Ski speed was decent. Nothing special, but a solid effort.”
Currier said he and the rest of the team — including Lowell Bailey, whose eighth-place effort Thursday was the best-ever individual finish by an American in an Olympic biathlon race — benefitted from the preparation of their skis for the unusually warm conditions.
Temperatures on parts of the course at race time were around 55 degrees.
“We had great skis,” he said. “Our wax techs put in a lot of effort to make sure they were fast.
“It was also great to see Lowell Bailey’s performance. We’ve all done our homework. Top-10s or better shouldn’t be unexpected.”