Loomis sophomore Bailey Coyne continues her adventures in Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as she and her family support older sister Kendall, who plays ice hockey for Team USA. Sports Information Director Bobbi Moran was able to catch up with Bailey between events to find out more about the experience.
Bobbi Moran (BDM): Bailey, in your last email you mentioned that the food was not quite what you are used to back here in the States. What is it like and what are you doing for food?
Bailey Coyne (BC): The breakfast food here is super odd. There are all sorts of pastries and meats to eat. Then they have eggs and really weird tasting oatmeal. I have been sticking with the apples and oranges with an occasional cup of yogurt. We have been eating most of our other meals in the P & G House (Procter and Gamble House), where the athletes' families gather.
BDM: How did you get all of the tickets for the different events that you have been attending?
BC: My mom bought a lot of the tickets online before we left for the games. She had two to one event and three to another event [and so on], so my brothers and I just fight it out for who gets to go to what event.
BDM: Can you buy tickets for an event on the day of the contest, or do you have to get them in advance?
BC: Yes, you can buy tickets the same day as an event at a ticket booth if it’s not sold out. A lot of times people are willing to trade you or sell you tickets, but that is usually difficult because they don't always understand English.
BDM: Do they all cost the same price, or are some, such as the men's hockey USA vs. Russia game, more expensive? What is the general cost of an event ticket?
BC: The price of the ticket is more and more expensive as you get closer to the final/gold medal games and depending on where you are going to sit in the stadium. But the price is the same no matter what event you are watching or who is playing, so it doesn’t cost more to see figure skating than it does to watch hockey. The prices for the tickets here are all in rubles (the Russian money), so I think it’s between 2,500 and 7,000 rubles for a ticket. To be honest, I am not really sure. My mom got a package of tickets at a super-discounted price. But we also get a lot of free tickets from the Procter and Gamble House. That is the house where all the USA family and friends can go. In fact, last night my mom and I went to the figure skating competition. That was so cool. We ended us sitting next to the mom of the guy who won gold in 2010. She was explaining all the rules and stuff to us, which was really great.
BDM: You mentioned the Olympic park was set up a little like Six Flags. Would you purchase one ticket to get into Olympic village and then need to buy individual tickets for each event once you are inside, or do the individual tickets get you automatically into Olympic village?
BC: If you have a ticket to one of the events in the park (not on the mountain), then you can use your ticket to get into the park and you can stay there all day if you want. The park itself is gated all around, and it is probably one-and-a-half miles long and there are security guards everywhere. But if you don't have an event inside to watch, you can also buy a $7 ticket just to get into the park and walk around.
The park is set up so that everyone has to enter in the same place and go throughout a metal detector and security. Inside there are all these different houses and food stations. Then all the events are about a 25-minute walk away. So you have to pass all these different houses to get to your event. Even if you didn't have tickets to an event, you could spend the whole day in the park just going to different houses and stores (like the Samsung House, Procter and Gamble, Audi House, the Russia House, the House of Switzerland, House of USA, etc.), which would be a lot of fun. But personally, I just want to watch the sports.
BDM: What is transportation like? Has your family rented a car, or do you take a bus to the events in the mountains?
BC: There are buses and trains that will take you up to the mountains and to sightseeing spots in Sochi for free. You have to go through security before you get on one, but it is really convenient. Then once you are up in the mountains, there are gondolas you have to take to get to your event, which are a bit more scary.
But everything has been going really well, and it has been really, really fun! We did get to watch the men’s USA vs. Russia hockey game. We were in the Procter and Gamble House with other people who couldn't get tickets, and the place was packed and everyone went crazy!
I am sending along a picture of me and my sister, Kendall, with the USA gloves on that Mrs. Knight bought for me before I left for Sochi!