Feb 3, 2014, 7:59 AM EST
SOCHI, Russia — U.S. bobsledder Dallas Robinson is talking trash, considering his dental options and biking outdoors and indoors in the days leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
That’s life in the Olympic Villages for the early arriving athletes — first dibs on video games, optional teeth cleaning and a little mischief.
“We’ve only been here a few days,” Robinson said Monday. “So I haven’t gotten in that much trouble yet.”
Robinson, who is also a U.S. Army Sergeant, made exploration a priority upon arriving in the mountain cluster at one of three Olympic Villages last week.
“I was like, hey, I heard stuff’s not done,” Robinson said. “I’m going to find stuff. And I did. In our basement, it’s completely not finished. It’s just tunnels. I was walking down there for about 30 yards with flickering lights, wires hanging down. A little worker jumped out. I think I scared him more than he scared me.”
U.S. bobsledders and skeleton sliders will spend a matter of minutes rocketing down the Sanki Sliding Center track over the next three weeks.
They’ve already spent hours and hours playing “Rambo,” a shooting game, steering-wheel and sit-down-bike racing games, pinball, pool, table tennis and Wii Olympics.
“My favorite thing to do is to beat [USA-2 bobsled teammates] Johnny Quinn and Nick Cunningham at everything,” Robinson said within earshot of Quinn. “It’s been really easy.”
When fresh air is needed, they’ve gone for team bike rides that turned into international affairs.
“It’s funny we’ll have two or three USA coats, and all of a sudden you’ll see one or two come from somewhere else, one or two come from somewhere else,” said Robinson, whose twang was complemented by a “God Bless America” silver belt buckle. “We’re trying the flying V, hitting each others’ tires. We probably rode eight miles [Sunday].”
Robinson said a group took their bikes into a media center lobby with hopes of riding up an escalator. They were swiftly kicked out.
“I don’t know what you’re allowed to do or not allowed to do,” Robinson said, pointing to his athlete credential. “They say this will get you anywhere. It didn’t get us in there. So we had to park our bikes outside, and then we wandered in.”
They found a media center McDonald’s — the restaurant had yet to open in their Olympic Village — where Robinson ordered a Big Mac, six-piece McNuggets, McFlurry, medium fries and a Coke.
“And I sat in a massage chair the whole time eating it,” said Robinson, who has poked new holes into his belt to manage a weight loss of 19 pounds this World Cup season.
Skeleton slider John Daly said he’s put in a couple of hours per day playing video games since arriving Jan. 31.
“I’m not much of a reader,” said Daly, “so I want to go play PlayStation.”
Daly was one of a number of athletes to visit an Olympic Village dentist. Having a translator helped, especially with instructions to put off any major work until after the Olympics.
“We don’t want anything drilled now,” Daly said, seeing as the biggest competition of his life is rapidly approaching.
Speaking of, Daly has watched teammate Kyle Tress break the skeleton track record three times in Wii Olympics, a possible omen for their Feb. 14-15 race for medals.
Fun and games are great — to an extent. Quinn is well versed in cycling from biking to work as a Green Bay Packers preseason wide receiver in 2008. But he drew a decent sweat in jacket weather over the weekend.
“My legs are a little tired,” he said.
Below are photos depicting Olympic Village athlete life:
Mar 6, 2014, 6:43 PM EST
1984 and 1988 Olympic champion joins Arizona Cardinals staff.
Mar 6, 2014, 6:28 PM EST
Teemu Selanne’s socks among more than 50 items on display.
Mar 6, 2014, 6:10 PM EST
“They need skateboarding more than we need them.”
Mar 6, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
Tatyana McFadden eyes history in homecoming. Military vets share common sledge hockey bond. Model/Amazing Race contestant helps bring snowboading to Paralympics. Husband and wife team go for skiing gold. Former Austrian World Cup Alpiner learns to ski again.
Mar 6, 2014, 1:21 PM EST
New U.S. sprint star, world records watch, Jamaican back from failed drug test.
Mar 6, 2014, 11:33 AM EST
Austrian Olympic champion takes victory in Sweden.
Mar 6, 2014, 10:28 AM EST
Universal Sports has live online coverage all weekend.
Mar 6, 2014, 9:46 AM EST
Oscar Pistorius kneeled, cried, prayed while holding girlfriend, witness said.
Mar 5, 2014, 4:33 PM EST
Canadian women’s goalie practiced with the Oilers on Wednesday.
Mar 5, 2014, 2:24 PM EST
Team USA athletes voted for Marine Corps veteran to carry flag on Friday night.
Mar 5, 2014, 2:11 PM EST
Sochi Paralympics begin on Friday.
Mar 5, 2014, 1:55 PM EST
Two countries in the news paired together in pool draw for Inglewood, Calif., event.
Mar 5, 2014, 1:27 PM EST
Red Bull calls it the first of its kind, largest halfpipe ever built.
Mar 5, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
Which golfers would make the field if announced today?
Mar 5, 2014, 11:29 AM EST
Shannon Szabados has played for a men’s team at university level.
Mar 5, 2014, 10:53 AM EST
Missing Sochi medalists opens door for young Americans.
Mar 5, 2014, 9:25 AM EST
Witness: Pistorius shot gun in restaurant, asked friend to take blame.
Mar 5, 2014, 9:20 AM EST
Paralympics begin Friday in Sochi.
Mar 5, 2014, 7:55 AM EST
Russia lost in the quarterfinals in Sochi.
Mar 4, 2014, 3:08 PM EST
Incident at 2012 Paralympics showed Pistorius’ temper.
- Five Paralympic storylines to watch in Sochi 0
- Mikaela Shiffrin takes 15th in first post-Olympic race 0
- Oscar Pistorius tried to revive girlfriend after shooting, witness recounts (video) 1
- Shannon Szabados: Oilers welcomed me with open arms (video) 1
- Adelina Sotnikova listed as substitute for World Championships; entry list highlights 3
- Oscar Pistorius’ restaurant gun incident recounted at murder trial; Day 3 recap (video) 1
- Russia Olympic hockey coach done after poor Sochi showing 1