I am writing you from 36,000 feet above Canada on our way to Moscow and then Kazan, Russia. It's a 10-hour flight, but we are all relieved to be on it after a lot of chaos in the airport the past 24 hours.
After racing at the Elite National Championships on Lake Mercer in Princeton, N.J., we spent two days training at the Olympic Training Center before taking a van up to JFK International Airport for our 7:10 p.m. flight.
arrived at JFK at 3:30 p.m. with
plenty of time to check in before our flight four hours later. As we arrived at
the airport, we got a call from our two coaches in Boston whose plane to JFK
had been delayed six hours. The coaches had all of
our documents and visas we needed to travel. After several hours of speaking broken English with the Aeroflot managers and customs in Moscow we learned that nothing but the physical visas in hand would get us on the plane. The coaches
finally arrived at JFK just as we were watching our plane take off for Moscow outside the window.
We called the travel agent for Team USA and they began the process of booking us for the next available flight. Meanwhile we decided to get the cheapest hotel within a 10-mile radius of the airport. This was an experience to say the least. Our first cab driver did not want to take us, but we finally found a car that was willing to drive to this hotel we found. We arrived and checked in.
In the morning we woke up to a call from the travel agent who had somehow found room for us on a flight at 2:20 p.m., and had even re-booked us on a connecting flight to Kazan as well. We took cabs back to the airport and checked in without a problem. The plane is actually very nice, or perhaps we just had very low expectations.
Back to our race on Friday, the regatta was a lot of fun. We lined up at the starting line and the boat to our left had four Olympians in it and the boat to our right was full of Olympians as well. We came in sixth in the nation, but the other boats were some of the fastest in the world so it was a great experience nonetheless. Here are some pictures from our race: Row2K Photo Gallery
We are supposed to arrive in Moscow at 7:45 a.m., and then we have four hours until we get on our prop plane to Kazan. Then we will have five days to train until we race on Monday. The official opening ceremonies will take place on Saturday.
We are all very excited to representing Team USA in Russia and I will be sure to keep you updated.
for the support.