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:
Nov 28, 2014, 2:57 PM EST
How the venues for basketball, swimming and other sports are coming along.
Nov 28, 2014, 11:33 AM EST
The youngest Olympic slalom champion tries to emulate one skier above all the rest — an Olympic men’s champion.
Nov 28, 2014, 11:17 AM EST
Kostner, the Olympic and World figure skating bronze medalist, is taking this season off.
Nov 28, 2014, 11:01 AM EST
Coe sees problems with the World Championships and Diamond League.
Nov 28, 2014, 10:41 AM EST
Olympic champion’s status for World Championships in January is unclear.
Nov 28, 2014, 10:30 AM EST
Grand Prix final picture includes plenty of Americans.
Nov 28, 2014, 9:42 AM EST
Legal battle may not be finished, however.
Nov 28, 2014, 9:24 AM EST
Japanese site could break a 46-year Winter Olympic streak.
Nov 28, 2014, 8:47 AM EST
Tikhonov died earlier this week at 84 after a long illness.
Nov 28, 2014, 8:15 AM EST
Olympic champion hopes to return for Beaver Creek next weekend.
Nov 26, 2014, 1:06 PM EST
Full schedule of coverage across World Cups, Grand Prix events and World Championships.
Nov 26, 2014, 7:42 AM EST
Sister-brother team had bronze medals, but the official results didn’t reflect that until Tuesday.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:19 PM EST
Neither has competed since the London Olympics.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:46 AM EST
Scheduling conflicts, another new event?
Nov 25, 2014, 9:27 AM EST
Christ the Redeemer, Olympic motto honored on the coins.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:23 PM EST
Phelps is working toward 2015 goals, a North Baltimore official said.
Nov 24, 2014, 3:52 PM EST
An MRI and bone scan showed no structural damage.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:25 AM EST
Canada won its first men’s hockey Olympic gold in 50 years under Quinn.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:11 AM EST
Olympic champion Shields was named the tournament’s best overall boxer.
Nov 24, 2014, 9:17 AM EST
Tikhonov led the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice game.
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