Sochi Olympic Village

Your World is a series of blogs on what is going on in the figure skating world by Jo Ann Schneider Farris,'s Figure Skating Expert.  In this blog post, Jo Ann gives readers a glimpse on what it is like to travel to the Winter Olympic Games as a spectator.


In February of 2010, I traveled to Vancouver with my ten year old daughter, Annabelle, especially to watch figure skating at the Winter Olympic Games. It was an amazing experience, but also an exhausting one. To sum things up, we had one adventure after another, but having those adventures meant we were very, very exhausted. At times, I was running on fumes due to lack of sleep and seemed to go days without eating a proper meal.

Although it was wonderful being inside Vancouver's Pacific Colliseum seeing incredible figure skating and meeting famous skating celebrities, getting to and from Olympic events took up a tremendous amount of energy and time.

Each day seemed to drain us, but we knew being at the Winter Olympic Games was an experience of a lifetime, so each day we prepared ourselves for another day of battling crowds. Our feet hurt from all the walking we had to do. We got lost in Vancouver a few times, went without meals and sometimes just ate crackers and bottled water when we returned to our accomodations, and walked through pouring rain, snow, mud, and sleet.

I wrote about my Vancouver Olympics experiences for Figure Skating during our trip, and sometimes had to search far and wide for an intenet connection that worked so I could get my articles published on time. When we finally left Vancouver, I was relieved and ready to go back home to a place where I could travel in a car and not battle crowds, but also I treasured every Olympic moment. Although I didn't go to the Olympics as a skater or coach, I felt like I'd "gone" to the Olympics and will remember every experience Annabelle and I had during those incredible two weeks.

The special Vancouver Olympic moments I especially remember include seeing Evan Lysacek of the USA win Olympic figure skating gold and having 2006 Olympic figure skating silver medalist Sasha Cohen, sit down right next to little Annabelle. (Annabelle was thrilled!) We received complimentary massages at the Olympic Media Centre and skated outside at the outdoor ice rink in Robson Square. We bought souvenirs and proudly waved American flags.  We met people from all over the world and heard several languages spoken at once.  We even visited a Canadian elementary school and saw the Olympic fever there.  We learned about Canadian culture and attended an amazing Olympic victory ceremony.

Skating friends of ours, Adelaide Ponte Usdin and Wendy Ponte, have recently traveled to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympics and they are blogging about their experiences for As I read their blog posts, I relate. They are experiencing something incredible, but their incredible experiences have been mixed with "headaches" that include getting lost, eating strange food, problems with housing and transportion, waiting in long lines, and going without sleep.

I encourage Rainbo Sports's customers to read Adelaide's and Wendy's Olympic blog posts. Their adventures will take you on a trip to Sochi Russia Olympics 2014!

Happy Skating!

Sochi by Two Blog - By Adelaide Ponte Usdin and Wendy Ponte for


Photo by Kenny Louie