Feb 3, 2014, 7:59 AM EDT
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:
Jul 28, 2014, 8:55 PM EDT
Athletes found safe in Beaverton, Ore., after going missing in Eugene.
Jul 28, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT
Nanjing Games open Aug. 16.
Jul 28, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT
Retired Olympic champion took part in Korea Skating Union workshop, according to South Korean media.
Jul 28, 2014, 10:19 AM EDT
Lawrence won gold on the U.S. 4x400m relay team at the 2014 IAAF World Relays.
Jul 28, 2014, 9:32 AM EDT
Neymar played in 2012, but there’s a new obstacle that could keep him out of 2016.
Jul 27, 2014, 6:46 PM EDT
Kerri Walsh Jennings notched a milestone victory.
Jul 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
Search and rescue crews were on the lookout for Jared Pikus and his three children.
Jul 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
Kerri Walsh Jennings can hit another career milestone.
Jul 26, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT
U.S. Olympic medalists will face Spanish or Brazilian pair Sunday on NBC.
Jul 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings in biggest tournament of 2014 in U.S.
Jul 26, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT
Bolt will make a rare appearance in the heats of a 4x100m relay at Commonwealth Games.
Jul 26, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT
Beijing gold medalist slated for first bout in August.
Jul 25, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT
USOC met with representatives from four finalist cities this week.
Jul 25, 2014, 3:47 PM EDT
Bahrain runner listed with 1996 birthday may have been born in 1990.
Jul 25, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
A step forward as skateboarding seeks Olympic inclusion.
Jul 25, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT
Brit can make Olympic history on the track in 2016.
Jul 25, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT
Cain emerged from being boxed in to beat Kenyans.
Jul 24, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT
How it impacts the U.S. and potential Olympic history for Missy Franklin.
Jul 24, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT
U.S. pair is top seed at biggest tournament in the U.S. this year.
Jul 24, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT
Moment of silence also held.
- U.S. 400m runner Torrin Lawrence dies in car accident 0
- Brazil’s Olympic coach wants Neymar to play at Rio 2016 0
- U.S. teams sweep World Series of Beach Volleyball (video) 0
- UPDATE: Noelle Pikus-Pace’s brother and his children found in Idaho 0
- Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross make WSOBV final 0
- Usain Bolt arrives in Glasgow, says he’s injury free 0
- Queen photobombs Commonwealth Games athlete selfie 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (56)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (38)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)