Posted: Saturday February 11, 2006 1:58PM; Updated: Monday February 13, 2006 2:30AM
U.S. women hockey players Helen Resor, a defenseman, and Sarah Parsons, a forward, are roommates and first-time Olympians. Resor raved about the food. "It has some of the best lasagna I've eaten in my life," she said. She and Parsons also raided the take-out dessert station. "I have a huge appetite," Resor said. "It runs in my family." And that would include the 50 family members and 15 friends who are planning to attend the Games. Resor is on ticket patrol. Like all athletes, she is only allotted two.
Resor said she loved a chance to see teammates from other sports such as short track skater Apolo Ohno. Parsons, who hails from Dover, Mass., was scheming about how to introduce herself to NHL stars and New England natives Chris Drury and Rick DiPietro. "I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone," Parsons said.
Speedskater Chris Witty, who carried the U.S. flag at the Opening Ceremony, took a try at the athletes' arcade. "I'm a much better ski jumper than I am a speedskater," she said. Witty is competing in her fifth Olympics, including one as a track cyclist at the 2000 Sydney Games and four as a speedskater.
Figure skater Evan Lysacek, a first-time Olympian, proclaimed his first few days in the village "a dream come true, from the outstanding prosciutto in the cafeteria to the flags draped over balconies to the international atmosphere that greets him each day. "Our walls are covered with Italian catchphrases," he said. "Everyone on the team has been trying to speak them to everyone else. Like Parsons, he has a sports movie on a DVD to inspire him when the moment strikes. His is Miracle, the story of the 1980 gold-medal-winning U.S. hockey team. ("I also have Kill Bill," he said, "in case I need to get amped up.") His lucky amulet comes from a family nurse named Nan who gave him an Italian horn charm that used to belong to her grandmother.
Lysacek's outspoken teammate, Johnny Weir, was less enthusiastic, calling the rooms "not very comfortable." Said Weir: "I'm roughing it. It'd be the same as me going out into the woods, I think ... I am very princessy as far as travel is concerned. It's a little dusty, very underdecorated, the beds aren't very soft, but I'm enjoying it."