(L-R) Gus Kenworthy, Joss Christensen and Nick Goepper pose with their medals at Bolshoy Ice Dome in Olympic Park at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Whirlwind Of Success
SOCHI, Russia -- You’ve spent your whole life training for one moment – chasing one dream. The countless hours of dedication have culminated to the pinnacle of your sport. You earned a spot on the podium at the Olympic Games. Now, it’s finally time to relax.
Well, not quite.
"As athletes, we’re so focused on preparing for the event and competition that we felt totally unprepared for everything that came after we got our scores,” said three-time Olympic medalist Meryl Davis. “But we feel that’s a good thing.”
|Meryl Davis and Charlie White visit the set of the TODAY show in the Olympic Park during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
|Sage Kotsenburg visits USA House in Olympic Park at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Once Team USA athletes win an Olympic medal their media circuit begins. Typically, this starts with an on-air television interview at the venue followed by a trip through the mixed zone to talk with journalists from all corners of the globe. Next is a series of press conferences, culminating in a primetime interview with NBC. Other stops include TODAY, The Dan Patrick Show, TeamUSA.org and USA House.
Wait. Was it the primetime interview first and then the TODAY show?
The countless interviews tend to blur the lines – and days – for Team USA athletes. When Davis and her ice dancing partner, Charlie White, won the gold medal, the two had just a few hours of sleep and things started to run together.
“Did we go straight to the TODAY show the next day?” White asked Davis with a puzzling look.
“I honestly don’t remember. It’s been such a whirlwind,” Davis replied.
The sponsor and media appearances have yet to slow down for the first U.S. ice dance gold medalists. A glimpse at Davis and White’s schedule has them in Moscow for a few performances and then on a flight to New York for a TODAY segment and to skate at Rockefeller Center.
Another Olympic gold medalist, Sage Kotsenburg, has also had a busy schedule since winning the first gold medal of the Sochi Games in slopestyle snowboarding on Feb. 8. The care-free spirit from Park City, Utah, has been a media favorite ever since his press conference following his gold-medal performance.
When asked how he and his teammates prepared the night before the biggest event of their lives, the answer might have surprised you: “I was eating mad snacks. Chocolate. Onion rings. Chips. We were chilling really hard. Then we fell asleep watching Fight Club. Getting stoked, you know?”
Kotsenburg has since returned to the U.S. and made the late-night circuit. In a recent Tweet by the 20-year-old, he urged his 71,000 followers to watch him on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
“You are definitely gonna wanna watch @jimmyfallon tomorrow night!! Thanks for having me on. I had a blast!”
Despite the media chaos, Kotsenburg stays glued to the Sochi Games. While in New York, he watched his best friend, Joss Christensen, win gold in slopestyle skiing. Christensen led the U.S. in a podium sweep alongside Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper.
The three friends blazed their own media tour, with stops on late night television shows along with magazine and radio interviews. Not to mention, they were the first Team USA athletes to grace the cover of the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box.
It was a fitting tribute to the slopestyle dream team, which made history in Sochi. Like all Team USA athletes, their performance inspires others to dream big, and believe in the power of sport and the Olympic Movement. Training for one moment and chasing one dream with the chance to tell one incredible story.
That’s what creating an Olympic legacy is all about.