Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Morgan Tracey (Team USA)

A BLD/36 Project with Michelle Tchea 

A few weeks ago, I was very a very lucky guest and visited the Adirondacks Mountains located in upstate New York.Forget the French Alps or the wonderful Swiss chalets and surrounding slopes… keep your sights a little closer to home this Winter and head to the wonderful Adirondacks. Home to two Olympic Winter Games, mountain fresh air and the 46 peaks, this is where you should be for the Winter Olympics this season.
Driving along the I-87, a short 5 hour drive landed me in the crisp, fresh air in the Adirondacks.

Thrill seekers and winter adventure sports enthusiasts living in the US are very fortunate to have such a great place to swoosh down… in between hot chocolate and warm apple cider of course!
Following the upcoming, very exciting and highly controversial Sochi Games in February, I’ve rustled up a few Olympic hopefuls and asked for their local tips on the area.
If you are not an Olympian heading to Sochi, get a slice of the Olympic action in the Adirondacks, ideally at Whiteface Lodge, where young Olympic hopefuls are counting on your support to help get them gold! 

The Whiteface Lodge has a bunch of Olympians going for gold and they need your support! For a true Olympic experience, The Whiteface Lodge (owned by former Olympian) and home to Sochi Winter Olympic hopefuls – this is where you should be this winter.
In a series of interviews, my second gold mentalist hopeful stepping up the podium is Morgan Tracey…USA! USA! (Unless of course you’re up against an Aussie – Oi oi oi!)

Morgan Tracey: In her third year as a member of the National Skeleton Team, Tracey has been winning medals in international competitions since her rookie year. She is an Americorps alumnae, wildland firefighter and attorney.

image: Whiteface Lodge and

 Morgan Tracey

I live in (city) and have called it home for (length of residency):Lake Placid, 3.5 years
I get around by (mode of transport): My bike in the summer, it has a bell, and my trusty Jeep in the winter. Lake Placid does have a great public transit system though, with trolleys in the summer and busses in the winter. We try to utilize that as well.
To pay the bills, I work at: Whiteface Lodge as a server and GE Capital an attorney.
Favourite place for breakfast? In the summer we try to do Sunday breakfast as The Diner or The Breakfast Club. It is a great way to finish off a great week of training. 
Best place for local food and to mingle with the locals: Lisa G’s and Liquids and Solids
My perfect day: In the summer it involves a really good workout, a swim in Mirror Lake and dinner outside someplace in LP. In the winter it definitely involves a great sliding session at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
Best place for a sit down lunch? The Pub has great lunch options and a very cool atmosphere.
Best place for quick grab and go cheap arse lunch? Good Bite Kitchen. It is a vegetarian joint, but everything is so delicious I forget it is sans meat. 
3 pm….hunger strikes: you can find me at: Lisa G’s eating a burger. 
My favourite places to shop: Athletes don’t have a lot of time or money to shop, but Pink in neighboring Saranac Lake is where I splurge when I can.
For local designers, producers and general fare, I would recommend:There are so many great shops on main street, depending on your style and needs. The Smoking Cork is great for wine, Green Goddess has the best health food options in town and definitely stop at The Chocolatier for what might be the best chocolate I have ever had. 
My Favourite neighbourhood? Lake Placid is small town…
Most underrated food / restaurant that tourists don’t know about? Freestyle. Locals know it is a great restaurant but it is tucked away on Saranac Ave. and gets missed by the tourists. 
If I had to keep a bus load of tourists entertained, would send them : I would send them to the Olympic Oval and to the Bobsled/Skeleton track for bobsled rides. It is definitely a bucket list item. Walking into Herb Brooks Arena will give you chills and watching the aerialist jump into the pool is a thrill. Where else do you get to see Olympic athletes train?

What are your hopes for Sochi? Obviously I train everyday like I am going to the games, but my real goal is 2018. The US Women’s team is incredibly competitive. It is possible we can win two medals in Sochi. It is such an exciting time to be a part of the US program.
What are you looking forward to in 2014? I am looking forward to seeing my team compete in the games. I am hoping to make the trek to Sochi to cheer on my teammates. Training a long some of the best athletes in the world has been such an incredible experience. I can’t imagine not being there to see them put it all on the line.
What does a day in the life of an Olympic hopeful look like? I am up around 7:00 a.m. checking my work emails. Then I eat breakfast and head over to the Training Center to deal with any aches and pains I have. Then I warm-up, which takes about 40 min. followed by plyometrics, and sprints. I usually take a break for a snack and then finish with my lift.  After cool-down and stretching it is usually 3:00 p.m.. Five nights a week I rush to shower and head to work at the Lodge for my 3:30 p.m. Most days my shift ends anywhere from 11:00-1:00 a.m. and I head home and shower and fall exhausted into bed.
Favourite meal at Whiteface Lodge? Our menu is always changing with our new Chef David, but I currently love the Salmon on the Kanu menu and the Kanu Lounge tuna.
Fill in the gaps for the perfect itinerary
Reminder: Friends visiting for the weekend

Best way to and from the airport is : NY-73W to 9N to 87N and follow the signs to the airport.  Avoid traffic and get the…..
Grab an early lunch at Good Bite Kitchen. Make the most of each of Olympic Venues- see them all, for the perfect start to the weekend.
Spend the afternoon at Mirror Lake , Stop off for a quick bite at The Cottage,  Remember to grab coffee at Big Mountain Deli & Creperie.
In the afternoon, spare an hour or two at the Olympic Oval as well as head to the Ski Jumps
Dinner planned and booked for 7 pm at Whiteface Lodge But for a more chilled dinner, pop into Freestyle.
If I found a bag of money, I would dine at the Interlaken Inn
My secret cheap indulgence is : one or two of the delicious assorted chocolates from the Lake Placid Chocolatier.

Sochi 2014 Olympic logo
Image: 2014
It drives me crazy when: people don’t merge when driving. 
I feel most at home when: I am on the water having grown up sailing. 
One word to describe my city: Olympic

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