Written by Garrott on February 15th, 2010

Got ‘er done.  We had an ideal day for the Olympic 15km Skate in Whistler.  After a week of warm temperatures and overcast skies, I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  The race trail was prepared just right, firm and fast with plenty of spectators lining the course.  I started with bib number 59, meaning that I was the 59th ranked skier going into the Olympic event.

I went into the race with a lot of confidence in my Salomon skis.  A fellow Middlebury grad (and Geography Major), Zach Caldwell, sent my skis through his grinder last night to prepare the skis for the exact conditions on the trail today.  My old high school coach, Randy Gibbs, is now the head US Ski Team wax technician and he prepped my skis with the fastest combination of high flouro wax around.  All the US team coaches lined the course with spare poles and a lot of enthusiastic encouragement.  The guys on hand today are just a handful of the thousands of people who have helped me become an Olympian.  Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’ve played big part as well and I sure appreciate your help achieving this dream!

I finished 58th today, one place ahead of my ranking going into the day, so I guess you could say I improved.  I felt surprisingly good on the course and only got passed by one skier, Vincent Vittoz of France, who ended up in the top 10.  My skis were even a little faster than his on the downhill.  Sweet!  All the spectators, especially the American contingent, got me fired up out there.  A number of my former teammates, including Chris and Colin Rodgers, Jimmy Butcher, and Jenny Hamilton were all in the crowd, as well as my parents (Happy Anniversary!), my Aunt Lynne and Uncle Mark, and two members of the Kuzzy Super Fan Club, Skip Fay and Mary Anderson.

A special congrats to my Twin Cities teammate Caitlin Compton for her Top-30 finish in the Olympics.  Nice work!

Time to grab a little dinner and get ready to fired it up in the Sprint on Wednesday.  Can’t wait!


29 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mindy Benton says:

    Congratulations Garrott. I love your blog and it motivates the entire Benton family both on the snow and off. Keep up the great work!

  2. Jason says:

    Huge congrats on competing and finishing strong. Thanks for representing our country too! Must be awesome to be an Olympian.

    Best of luck later this week and enjoy the Games.

  3. Keely says:

    Nice job today! It is so exciting that I have a friend on the Olympic ski team! Good luck on Wednesday! I’m proud of you!

    We’ll be cheering for you,

  4. Kuan says:

    Good job Kuzz!!!! Way to represent!

  5. Kyra says:

    We saw a tall guy in a red suit on the tv coverage. We think it was you!!! Good luck on your upcoming races!!!

  6. Chris Kohler says:

    Nice Job Garrott! We are all rooting for you.

  7. Kaelin says:

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!


  8. Teague & the Management says:

    Good luck in your races on the Olympics! When is your birthday?

    You have been such an outstanding representative for our country! It has been a privilege to watch the hard work that you have endured and the awesome and giving attitude that you have expressed through it all. To witness the fruits of your efforts has been a joy! Thanks for being such a wonderful role model for the local crew!
    Bert & Jeff

  9. Man, that’s an Olympic smile! We couldn’t be happier for you. Have a great sprint on Wednesday and congrats on your first Olympic finish- an awesome acomplishment indeed!

    Good Luck Bud,

  10. John Harrer says:

    Well done, Garrott! Onward and upward. Hopp, hopp!

  11. Mary Duff & Dave Yadon says:

    Saw you getting ready to start on the NBC coverage. Glad you had a good day. Let ’em rip on Wednesday!

  12. Eric Guse says:

    Now I can say I’ve skied with an olympian. Awesome! We watched the race @ the bike shop today. You’ve come a long way since your days at Penn. congrats, Kuzzy!

  13. Dave & Carol Long says:

    “A picture is worth a thousand words!” Congrats on a great race! You’re an Olympian … how awesome is that?!? Best of luck on Wednesday!

  14. tom pletcher says:

    Great job Garrott

  15. Ken Schoville says:

    Well done to you and “the team”, all behind you and working as hard as they can in the wings to represent the US, Midwest, CXC, MN, Hopkins and the many many fans you inspire, young and old! Rest and think happy Sprint thoughts.

  16. Dave & Carol Long says:

    “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Your folks couldn’t look any prouder and you look like a true Olympian. LOVE the shot! Congrats on a good run yesterday. We sure enjoyed watching the race – especially when NBC didn’t cut away from you to watch a few others! ha!

  17. Pam Dryer says:

    Hey Garrott – Yahoo for the great day! It was so fun to catch a glimpse of you! My only disappointment was that I broke our TV remote when I threw it at NBC for cutting to another skier on the course before you left the starting gate 🙂
    Truthfully, I didn’t do that because I knew why you are there and what you demonstrate to all of us – inspiration, grace (internal and external)and the joy of skiing.

  18. Chuck Wolske says:


    Congrats on your finish yesterday and keep the skis moving fast! I am a xc ski fan and have skied 12 Birkies including all of the Hayward WI races every year.
    Keep up the good work and good luck!


  19. Salipante'S says:

    Garrott we are so proud of you! Awesome!
    Paul, Bob and Cathie are heading up to Whistler this weekend to catch some racing.

  20. Wa says:

    So proud of you Garrott!! In the words of the mighty Captain Planet, “The power is yours!” Tear it up tomorrow! I love you!

  21. Michelle and Tim Bergstedt says:

    Garrott, Congratulations, we were so excited to follow from afar. The coverage is scant here in New Zealand so with the information from Shannon and your blog, we are thrilled to hear of your super successful day!
    You know we are so proud of you and your super wax technician.Keep up the great work, we know you are enjoying yourself.
    All our best from down under.
    Michelle and Tim

  22. Way to go Garrott. You are a great representative of us to the rest of the World. Will be thinking of you as our Olympian!

  23. john HUGUS says:

    You bring out the best of athletic competition!! Thanks!

  24. Tom Gaier says:

    Good effort big guy. It is a whole differnt world at that level. We watch it on TV but still have no ideal the power and speed you guys are puting out. Impressive!
    I was very upset when I could see you in the back ground getting ready to start and then they switch to the on corse camera. ABC did not do the Americans any justice for thier good hard effort in the 15k mens event. Lets hope they improve for Wednesdays races.

  25. Mark Howard says:


    To make the team is an accomplishment few will understand. To ski against that type of competition we will also never understand. In addition to your accomplishments, your humble no excuse blog makes me proud to have you on our/my team. Your post race writing is an inspiration to “No Excuse” – I hope that I can follow your lead, and others will note and follow as well.

    Once it is over, we need to refocus and look ahead as you do. We need to be proud of who we are and where we are.

    New Moon Friend,


  26. Mary Ann Wolters says:

    Garrott, I knew years ago that we would see you competing in the Olympics and there you are, congratulations. Hello to
    Mom and Dad. Chris sends his greetings, John too. Like your blog and pictures.

    Mary Ann

  27. Judy Krueger says:

    Hi Garrott, We’ve been talking about you at work almost as much as the Birkie. Sounds like you’re having a great time at the Olympics. Can’t wait to hear all about the experience when you get back to New Moon. We’re all so proud of you. Good Luck!!!
    Judy & Jim Krueger

  28. Jon parr says:

    Hey man I have yet to see you on TV, but from what I have herd you are doing great. Keep it up. 🙂

  29. Cara Linnenkohl says:

    THE KUZZY FAMILY!!! You guys are the BEST! It has been so exciting t follow you through your journey. I’m soooo proud of you!