Sochi, we’re here!

The games are upon us.  When I arrived in Sochi I didn’t know what to expect. Now that I’ve seen everything, it is amazing and  beyond what I thought was possible.  Opening cerimonies are tomorrow and we are gearing up to walk as TEAM USA! Take a look at the Olympic village and keep in mind that I took these pictures a few days ago. 

image

image

These are the apartments we are living in for the next two weeks.

image

image

image

Short track and figure skating venue

image

Opening cerimonies

image

image

image

image

image

image

I have to say that these Olympics are going to be great. The venues are awesome, the food and facilties are up to my standards.  Actually the best part ofmy trip d so far has been using our team bikes. BMW donated bikes for the alleys use in the Olympic village. Each country had their own b bikes and it’s are the best I’ve seen.

image

image

image

View from my apartment

image

image

These pictures are just a hint of what Sochi is like. Please stay tuned for more posts coming soon.

image

For more info on events and athletes please visit NBC Olympics

Pre-season visits to LA and Co. Springs

Last month I had the privilege to be part of the NBC Olympic promo shoot in Los Angeles, California. The whole trip lasted about 5 days which gave me plenty of time to check out Beverly Hills and Hollywood. My mom also lived in the area so we had the chance to spend time together in Santa Monica.

20130517-195718.jpg 20130517-195734.jpg

While I was in LA there was also filming of short track skating. We managed to spend over four hours on the ice which turned out to be a lot of fun. We did some filming using the sled camera that followed us down the straight-away. That camera shoots over 1,000 frames per second to get every little detail of skating. The film crew focused on the the start and ice chips flying through the air! We also used helmet mounted Go-Pro cameras to capture passing and pack skating on short track. I’m really excited to see how these clips will come out when they air on NBC this fall.

20130517-201458.jpg 20130517-201507.jpg

20130517-201530.jpg 20130517-201513.jpg

 

 

The studio was packed with other winter Olympic athletes. I had the chance to meet bobsledders, lugers and skiers who were also invited to the event. The “event” was very fast paced and energized. What was cool about it was meeting the producers and newscasters from NBC who will be putting the footage together. They were extremely helpful in getting me prepped for the interviews and made everything go smoothly. I had no problems with being filmed alongside JR, Eddy, Jeff and the other athletes.

After I returned from LA. it was time to get back to training. The racing season is still months away, but we are getting a head start on the Olympic year. The atmosphere is quite different since the competition will be really fierce to capture a spot on the world team, and ultimately the Olympic team.

The next stop in my summer training was the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. We departed SLC with great expectations for the training camp. The flight was a little rough, but we made it to the ground safely. Flying in a prop plane isn’t ever an enjoyable experience. Every small wind sheer would shake the plane, which made for an interesting flight with lots of turbulence. We also saw this sign when we headed down to baggage claim.

20130517-203114.jpg 20130517-203131.jpg

 

It was great to be around other athletes in the training center. Don’t get me wrong, spending time with Travis Jayner, Johnathan Garcia, and the other speed skating athletes is very entertaining. We had a great time training together and getting ready for the tough year ahead. Not to mention the ping pong, and foosball games we had in the athlete lounge.. The athletes who live in the OTC all share that same energy for their sport and the dedication it takes to win. The staff and trainers are a big part of the push to get us ready for competing. I am very grateful to have them on my team as I prepare for the 2014 season.

20130517-204132.jpg 20130517-204211.jpg

 

There was an event going on at the OTC called The Warrior Games. More than 200 wounded service members competed in seven sports (archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball). Athletes were from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Sec Ops as well as the British armed forces. We were honored to be greeted by Prince Harry as he was the keynote speaker for the event. The event did mean a lot to me since I have family members in the marines. Being in the presence of the soldiers was really inspiring.

20130517-204908.jpg 20130517-204919.jpg

 

20130517-204929.jpg 20130517-205624.jpg

 

Spending time with the long track team and staff—> tons of fun. The coaches are fun when we re on the ice. But spending time with the off the ice, we had a lot of laughs and good times together. We had team activities planned like dry land sessions, weight training, hiking and running the incline. It brought back memories from my inline racing days when I stayed at the OTC for residency. But this time, being with the short track team was excellent. We also had fencing bouts, basketball and dodgeball games to boost team building.

20130517-210432.jpg 20130518-141205.jpg

 

The off-season

I don’t have many chances to take time off. So I’m going to take this time to relax, enjoy life and reflect. During the last three weeks I have been my own coach. It has been said that athletes need to rest as hard as they train. There needs to be a good balance between training and time off. Plus having time off will create a new motivation to get back into training.

Many of you know that I’m training to be part of the Olympic team for the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. The last season was extremely tough and life changing. I made huge changes in my training which allowed huge gains in my racing. That being said, the last twelve months really took its toll on the whole team. The grueling summer training, intense race preparation… We deserve some time to unwind. So I took some time off to road trip and visit family/friends.

Being on the world team is a great experience. When the racing season was in full swing, I had my whole calendar filled and training mapped out for me. However, there is a flip side to that. Now I am slowly getting back into training and I have my own schedule. It’s almost like I’m relearning how to enjoy working out.

Being an athlete isn’t all about gaining strength and performing well. It’s also about knowing when to take it easy, moderating your training and having fun. Taking time to slow down and work on technique is important. Even if your teammates are racing you, some days there needs to be relaxed workouts. This will keep you from flat lining and getting burnt out.

The best way to keep yourself motivated is to constantly change it up. What I mean by that is always change the routine to keep your body guessing. Instead of doing to same workout everyday, change the intensity or add intervals. These are some of the things you can do on your own to get faster while still enjoying yourself.

The attitude you have in the beginning of your training plays a huge role in the outcome of the season. Most people like to make the start of the season fun. Actually, when you are just enjoying the work and going with the flow it can turn out to be your biggest gains. It’s true for all sports, when it’s fun you perform better!

When I do get back into training, it’s going to be a fun atmosphere. The dry land and running workouts will have plenty of rest and lots of variation. The bike rides will be easy-going. When we get into the longer bike rides they will be at a talking pace, where we can hold a conversation during a hill-climb. After all, it’s not only your legs pushing you up the hill… It’s your desire to be out and enjoying the ride too! How can we train and enjoy getting faster/stronger if we don’t have a good time?

This advice isn’t just for professional athletes, it’s for everyone. Anyone who is thinking about getting into racing: professional, amateur, international and domestic, and weekend warriors. I am speaking to cyclists, runners, skaters, you name it. It’s even advice for that guy who wants to try to ride to work as much as possible. It’s not about reaching your peak performance every ride. Just go out for a ride with some friends and enjoy the sheer pleasure and unique challenges sport has to offer.

For now I am enjoying some time away from skating. I’ve been able to spend some quality time with my girlfriend and visit friends who I haven’t seen for a while. During my road trip I had the opportunity to see some great people. Not to mention I had three weeks away from everything that is speed skating, so that was Really nice.

While I was gone I visited my family back in NJ & PA. as well as friends in Michigan and Wisconsin. I want to make a shout out to some of the medical professionals I also saw during my trip. The head athletic trainer of the USOEC at NMU Colby Lash, also Dr. Greg Nelson DC CCSP is Marquette Mi. Also Dr. Eric St. Pierre with ESP Sports Medicine is Boulder Co. They have helped me tremendously ever since I started skating with the national team.

And lastly I’d like to thank Dr. Gregory Pamel with Pamel Vision in NYC. Thanks for the check up, my eyes are great by the way. We had a good time in the city. What I enjoyed most was seeing the 9/11 memorial. I last saw the aftermath in 2002 or 2003 (can’t remember which) so I wanted to see what the memorial looked like.

20130414-134311.jpg

20130414-134327.jpg

20130414-134343.jpg

The Hungary Games

Hi and welcome back to my blog. For anyone who is seeing my blog for the first time, I’m Chris Creveling. Recently I competed in the Short Track World Championships in Drebecen, Hungary. Team USA was represented by two men and two women in the individual events. We also qualified for the mens relay event. Being my first world championships, I didn’t know what to expect. But the competition exceeded all of my expectations with the drama of having a world title at stake.

Our week and a half stay in Drebecen was excellent. We had everything we could have needed and there were no problems. First I would like to thank the coaches and training staff of team USA for a great season and for all their hard work. I had the opportunity to meet medical staff who travel with the team to these events. They have so much to offer for the team and we appreciate everything.
Our team stayed in The Hotel Aquaticum near Drebecen University. Our hotel had all the amenities of a resort. The best thing about it was the thermal baths and steam/sauna rooms. We had access to the wellness spa of Aquaticum medical and bathing centre. The medical treatments they have to offer are hydrotherapy, group therapeutic exercise, electro therapy, massage, mud pack, dentistry, just about everything you can think of. The baths are under a dome with four thermal pools and two changing pools. This is in use daily by Drebecen citizens and hotel guests. Of course the skaters were welcome to use the pools everyday.
As soon as we arrived it was obvious that we would be part of a health and wellness community. It’s very different from how people view healing in the United States. People seek health benefits of medicinal waters and more simple means of healing. You won’t find places like it anywhere in the US.
The Fonix arena was within walking distance of our hotel. This was convenient for anyone who wanted to jog/walk to the arena rather than waiting for the shuttle to arrive. Our first trip to the rink was pretty eventful. On the walk over we encountered the petting zoo that was along the way. There was a giraffe, which we didn’t expect to see wandering through the park. Then, walking straight towards us was a mini horse! We had to move off the sidewalk to let it walk by and everyone stopped and starred. Then we joked about riding a mini horse to the rink everyday. After we walked to the wrong building and were directed to the arena, we found out it was closed. The pad system was not installed completely and we were forced to wait another day to get on the ice.
Once we arrived the next day we had a great ice session. My skates were dialed in and I felt comfortable on the ice. The entire team felt pretty fast that day. It is an amazing feeling when everything falls together; ice conditions, feeling strong, having tons of energy. But it can be short lived.
The next practice day was the complete opposite. The ice had changed overnight and many teams had practices after us. Also the temperature changed in the arena which made the ice conditions change. This just goes to show that short track is a very unpredictable sport. Things can change drastically, and in the blink of an eye. One day you can feel like you’re in top of the world, the next could be the complete opposite.
We had four races in the world championships. How the system works is each A final placement earns points. The points add up from each distance to determine the world champion. So for instance, if I made it to the semi finals but didn’t qualify for the A final, I was done racing that distance. I’m glad we used this system because it meant less races and more recovery time. Each night after races I would go back to the hotel for cold bathing and massage treatment. That was crucial for recovering and skating well the following day.
In each of my races I tried to stay towards the front of the pack. The longer races tended to be slower in the beginning, so I could wait a few laps to start moving up. I could move up through the pack with ease to place myself in the top two. However, there was a lot more riding on these races which made it harder to stay in second or third place. This worlds allowed me to see how I fared among the best skaters in the world. I ended up placing 16th overall in the world. Meng Wang won the world title for the ladies, and Sin Da Woon was ecstatic to win for the men. I’m excited to have good results going into the Olympic year. Hopefully next year I will be among the top 8, or even higher!
After the races we had some time to check out downtown. Luckily my dad was there to watch me skate, so we had some time to catch up. We enjoyed authentic Hungarian food and taking in the sights. You would be surprised with what they served and how much of it was fried. For me the best food was the goulash and fish with rice. Enjoy the pictures of the interesting food and culture of Hungary.
The arena went ballistic when the Hungarian team took the ice

The arena went ballistic when the Hungarian team took the ice

I did take part in the relaxing oxygen therapy.

I did take part in the relaxing oxygen therapy.

oxygen bar aquamasage airport lounge with piano start of the 1000m Lilly and I Eddy and JR preparing for their feet to be cleaned! I AM AMSTERDAM random scupture in amsterdam passport check the foodcourt budapest airport

we were in the airport by 4:30am. needless to say we didnt get any sleep

we were in the airport by 4:30am. needless to say we didn’t get any sleep

the banquet and awards ceremony opening ceremonies The Dutch team warming up outdoor thermal baths thermal baths Aquaticum IMG_1962 downtown Drebecen The tram to downtown

we were the first ones in the arena that day. half way through the warmup the lights came on

we were the first ones in the arena that day. half way through the warmup the lights came on

 

20130320-131424.jpg

20130320-131449.jpg

20130320-141146.jpg

20130320-141157.jpg

First day in Dresden

Goodbye Sochi, and hallo Dresden. I’m glad to have made it to Germany in one piece. We were delayed in our flight out of Sochi this morning (7:00am) and almost missed our connecting flight. It was a very stressful travel day but three connecting flights later, we have arrived.
In these past few world cups I have found some answers. We are constantly looking for the best mixture of training and being prepared for anything (equipment problems, health, traveling etc). With the help of all the staff and teammates, it has been a great learning experience.
I’m still working on getting the kinks out with my racing. Finally there is a connection with racing and working with the World Cup staff. And believe me, there’s no substitute for the World Cup experience. We have a limited window of opportunity as athletes to win medals. Now that I’m starting to see the bigger picture, it makes my goals a lot more clear. The staff are here to help us get there (trainers, nutritionist, coaches). So it’s like a puzzle and all the pieces have to fall into place.
The team traveled all day today (I mean ALL day) to get to Dresden, Germany. It was a 2:00am wake up call to goto the airport. Here is the play by play.

20130204-194606.jpg

20130204-194634.jpg

20130204-194648.jpg

20130204-194705.jpg

20130204-194715.jpg

20130204-194724.jpg

20130204-194736.jpg

20130204-194758.jpg

20130204-194834.jpg

20130204-194842.jpg
We had a strong team meeting when we got here, and it looks like everyone is ready to do big things. Ill let you know that we didn’t have a great weekend. Now we have a chance to show that we are a strong team and come back from this. I personally feel very motivated and inspired for this final World Cup. We all want to take it to the next level and I’ll do everything in my power to make that happen.
So we are headed to a late practice tonight just to get our legs moving again. It is just what is needed for us to be ready for this coming weekend. Stay tuned in for the next thrilling update!

World team 2013

5th Ave IMG_1943 IMG_1944 Rocafeller Center IMG_1946 IMG_1947 IMG_1949 IMG_1950 IMG_1951 IMG_1952 IMG_1953 Time Square IMG_1956 IMG_1958 IMG_1959 IMG_1960

Check out the pics from NYC! I’m so glad I got to visit this great city with my sister. It was a blast walking around and being tourists. I have been in the city a few times before, but not for about 5 years.

The world team trials were last month. Stressful as usual, with plenty of close calls and controversy. But that is what we have been training for all year. Preparing for that moment when all the fastest skaters are in the line together. I’m glad I can claim a spot on that line next to fellow world team members.
Half the year we train and prepare ourselves for trials. The other half we spend worrying about the race itself and making the team. Once at trials, all bets are off. At this point everything you do matters. There can’t be any mistakes since your spot on the world team depends on making clean passes and staying calm.
My world team trials were mostly great. The races were extremely close as I chased the other skaters for 6 spots on the world team. It was possibly my best performance ever and I placed second overall. I medaled in every distance we skated, which has been a goal of mine.

20130109-205222.jpg

20130109-205251.jpg

Immediately following the racing I prepared for my trip to visit my family. I spent my time at home for the holidays; which I rarely get the chance to do with my hectic schedule. I went home (new jersey) for Christmas, my birthday and New Years. There’s nothing like spending quality time with your family.

20130109-211017.jpg

20130109-211029.jpg

20130109-211041.jpg

20130109-211114.jpg

20130109-211325.jpg

20130109-211348.jpg

My next trip was to visit New York City. I was scheduled to have LASIK surgery with Dr. Pamel on the 4th. Luckily my sister was able to make the trip with me to help me adjust to my “new eyes.” We had a great time running around the city. We went everywhere: Central Park, Rockefeller center, Times Square. We spent four days roaming around and taking in the sights. Chelsea’s significant other, Dan also joined us. I was really glad we had the chance to take a trip together.
After the surgery it was like a whole different experience. I could hardly open my eyes at first, but I could still see better than 20/20. So that’s when the quote, “it’s like I was reborn” originated from. A lot if the other skaters have already gone through the procedure, so they agree that it is life-changing.
Here are a few pictures of our trip. Also some candid pics of me after the surgery.

20130111-132716.jpg

20130111-132742.jpg

20130111-132758.jpg

20130111-132817.jpg

20130111-132839.jpg

20130111-132856.jpg

20130111-132906.jpg

20130111-132920.jpg

20130111-132941.jpg

20130111-132959.jpg

20130111-133017.jpg

20130111-133030.jpg

20130111-133046.jpg

20130111-133107.jpg

20130111-133123.jpg

It’s that time again

After traveling to Japan, adjusting to time zones and tough training- it’s that time again. World Team qualifiers start in 5 days in Salt Lake. It has been a bit of a struggle to get to this point, but I’m healthy and ready to go for these trials. It will start off with two time trials, 1500m, 500m, 1000m and finish with the 3,000m. The racing starts Thursday so be sure to look for updates or live feed. Oh, and it also Christmas time again; I hope you all are getting your Xmas shopping done early.

 

This week has been a little tough on all fronts. It started off with getting my passport renewed for the upcoming world cups. I had a doctors appointment to get my staples removed from my shin. Followed by two-a-days on the ice (two ice sessions, morning and afternoon) and more training. We never got a break in our training because of the competition. Also, many people have been getting sick at the oval and are continuing to train. It’s a tough task training your body to be at peak performance. But it’s the life of a speed-skater and that is to be expected.

this is what a blade to the shin looks like!

this is what a blade to the shin looks like!

Last world cup I had a little incident. The 1500m B final was pretty stacked with a lot of good skaters. As I made a pass on the outside with 4 laps to go, I was kicked in the shin. The blade bounced off my shin guard and went underneath it somehow. When all was said and done, I finished the race with a hole in my leg. With all the adrenaline, I didn’t really feel any pain in my shin. My mom will be pleased to hear that the doctors did a great job disinfecting and treating the wound. But the man who put in the staples didn’t have much experience and had to redo one of them.
The good news is my shin healed up nicely. There were no complications and there should be no bad scaring. The blade went in next to the shin bone, so it didn’t actually hit the bone. To top it all off, my skinsuit wasn’t even scratched! I also had cut-proof Kevlar underneath my skinsuit, also unscratched. You would think they would have holes in them from the blade. I’ll spare you the image of the actual cut, ah what the heck!

open wound

There are also a few good treats that I left Nagoya with. I failed to post a few of the sushi photos I took. Feast your eyes on this…

No-shave-nov.

The beard was coming in nicely, but it had to go

Hotel Castle Plaza Nagoya

Merry Christmas!

Mochi  octopus sushi shrimp pastry

Nagoya

Doing what i love, and traveling all over the world. I have to say it’s really fun to be in Japan for this competition. The culture is so different from what i am used to, Im in awe every time i leave the hotel.

When I first arrived in Nagoya the focus turned directly to what type of food to eat. A group of us split off from the hotel and went to go find some sushi. The restaurant was 13 floors up and right next to the Nagoya Marriott Associa hotel. It’s right above the train station and a ton of department stores/shopping areas.
/>
<a href="https://chriscrev.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/20121129-163231.jpg&quot;20121129-164528.jpg
<

20121129-164730.jpg
The next day we had practice at noon. The weather was bleak and it rained the entire day. We got on the bus and I managed to snap a pic of something amazing. This really blew my mind, since you would never see this anywhere in America. As the tree leaves were falling with the rain, an old woman swept them up and threw them away. Her sense of duty and respect for others blew me away. But this was happening all over the city, and every citizen was cleaning up their share of the leaves from the sidewalks.

The arena for this World Cup isn’t actually an ice rink ‘per say’ but it was a swimming venue. There are high-dives and swimming pools right next to the ice. As a matter of fact the ice sheet is directly above where the pool is. While I was skating, I could feel the whole ice sheet shaking. That’s because there is plywood above the pool where the ice sits.
br />
20121129-175928.jpg
<

20121129-180217.jpg
The ice session was followed immediately by lunch in the subway system. Underground there are huge networks of shopping malls and markets that have whatever you could want. We scrambled in every direction and got lost countless times. It would be best described as running around like chickens with our heads cut off. After a couple trips we knew where we were going. But there are treasures to be found around every corner, you just have to look for them.

Some of the dishes that are on the top of my list are Taiwan ramen, Cochin chicken and hitsumabushi. These are all Nagoya local dishes. The ramen noodles are the greatest snack ever.

20121129-210300.jpg

20121129-210321.jpg

20121129-210408.jpg
Last night the team had Shabushabu. We cooked all of our food in a boiling pot and it was a very healthy meal.

There are two things that sum up my trip to Nagoya: cleanliness (the city of Nagoya has to be the cleanest I have ever seen) and politeness. They have respect for themselves and others around them.

20121129-140052.jpg
This is right in front of our hotel. As soon a any leaves hit the ground they are swept up and thrown away. Thus, I have never seen any trash this entire trip. There are no trash cans either, which leads me to believe that the Japanese create no waste. Another thing that surprised me was how I am greeted at every possible time. When I walk into a store/hotel they bow and say hello. When I leave, each employee will come to the front if the store to bow and say thank you. I think we all have something to learn from these customs.

20121129-162930.jpg

20121129-161350.jpg

20121129-161017.jpg

20121129-180337.jpg

20121129-180354.jpg

20121129-181245.jpg

20121129-181313.jpg

Hope you enjoyed the read! Be ready for my next post later this week

20121129-210757.jpg

20121129-210745.jpg

Travel day

The racing was fantastic yesterday. To my knowledge there were 6 world records broken this World Cup. I am proud to say that I had a part in one of the records in my 1000m semi. The winner of the race (Yoon-gy Kwak) crossed the finish line with a time of 1:23.0- WORLD RECORD and I crossed third with 1:23.1- an AMERICAN RECORD. When I was racing, all I could think about was trying to outmaneuver the best in the business, Kwak. But the race was so fast that I couldn’t pass with three laps to go. I battled with a Russian skater all the way to the line just to maintain my spot.
Today we are headed to Montreal for our next stop on the World Cup circuit. I am currently standing in line with the current world record holder in the 500m, JR Celski. He was the first man to break the 40second mark with a time of 39.9sec. What a crazy finish to the Calgary World Cup! The whole arena was cheering as he crossed the line, and every person who witnessed his great sportsmanship was united in that moment. The whole team is feeding off of his energy. The sport is progressing and everyone is forced to up their level after seeing the first sub-40 second 500m.
Also with us at the airport are the Dutch, Japanese and Ukraine teams. It is really too cool being around all these teams in the airport. We almost take over the terminal when we walk anywhere. We are all really friendly and enjoy ourselves, even though we will be competing as soon as we step on the ice in Montreal. I look forward to the racing which starts on Friday.
I also want to add that the Canadian organization did a great job getting us everything we needed. This whole week was a great experience. They took very good care of us and we didn’t have to lift a finger most of the time. The shuttles were always on time, and the hotel always provided food for the athletes. Hence the phrase, “eat, sleep, skate.”

20121022-201959.jpg