"It's been totally awesome. It's pretty hard to imagine what it's going to be like before you get here, but it's an amazing international experience. Walking into the Opening Ceremonies was really special. We were walking circles kind of around the stadium before we walked in to the main building there and it was pretty sweet walking through the fake snow and hearing the roar of the crowds," Brooks said.
Even with that experience under her belt, Brooks said sometimes, it doesn't even feel like the Olympics.
"You definitely feel like it when you're going through the stadium. But there are lots of parts of the course where there's just no one out there. And it's kind of like, hmm, I could be skiing a Besh cup out at Chugiak right now, and then you have to remind yourself: Oooh, this is the Olympics," Brooks said.
With the hoopla over and their first Olympic races behind them, both Brooks and Southam are focused on skiing.
"You know I think everyone would like to do better. I was kind of middle of the pack, and I hope to improve my results from here on. And I think it was a good start and now I have one Olympic race under my belt," Brooks said.
That's one race in the soft, wet snow that covers the Olympic courses, but the conditions aren't totally a bad thing. Southam feels this kind of track might actually work in his favor.
"I think for classic it definitely does. It's a little bit tricky, a little bit soft and I kind of like those conditions. For skating I typically like a harder, firmer course. But, shoot, this place it could be absolutely anything five minutes from now, so who knows?" Southam said.
Southam doesn't race again until Saturday, when he will take part in the men's 30-k pursuit.
Until then, he's just practicing and living the life of an Olympic athlete.
"In the village, life is great. I mean our rooms are kind of tiny, but we've got everything we need. We've got awesome food in the cafeteria. And when we go for runs outside the village it's a little bit strange, like all these cars, and people aren't in matching coats," Southam said.
Wednesday, Brooks competes in the women's classic sprint.
Kikkan Randall is also set to race in that event.
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