Alaska’s Scott Patterson ready for new challenges at second Olympic Games
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - This is not cross-country skier Scott Patterson’s first time at the Winter Olympics, though this year’s experience differs greatly from the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
“It’s definitely some adaptation getting used to the village again, it’s a lot different than 2018 with all the COVID protocol and, I mean we’re going into the dining hall and we have these little like, glass boxes to eat in which was interesting,” Patterson, of Anchorage, said from the Olympic Village in Beijing.
While the rigorous testing and social distancing measures may throw athletes off of their game, the weather may also throw skiers in for a loop.
“We’ve gotten out to the venue quite a few times and the first day was moderately warm and beautiful and sunny, and it was pretty awesome,” Patterson said. “And then the second day we hit the weather we’ve been hearing about for a long time — the nasty, windy, cold and it was pretty brutal for one of the those days ... you go down a hill and you’re, like, covering up your face just to keep your nose warm and then turn around to get blown back up another hill.”
However Patterson, 30, says skiing on the trails of Anchorage has prepared him for anything the Games throw at him. So has his Olympian sister Caitlin, who is about two years older. The Pattersons, of South Anchorage fame, will be competing in the their second Winter Olympics together.
“I think it’d be a lot harder experience just without someone who you can really bond with,” Patterson said. “I think for both of us, it kind of brings us up to the next level and ... without any spectators and friends and family visiting, we’re kind of the only ones with family, so you got to embrace that.”
Patterson is coming off a National Cross Country Ski Championship in January and posted top 25 finishes in each event he competed in at the Pyeongchang Games, including 11th in the 50-kilometer mass start. With Olympic experience under his belt, Patterson is going into these games with a new perspective.
“Last time I definitely went in with some pretty, I wouldn’t say low expectations, but almost kind of no expectations, where it’s kind of just go and race. Whereas here, I think I put a little more pressure on myself,” he said. “... It’s also important to remember to have fun during this time where we’ve still got a little it of time before there races, just get out and ski with people and enjoy it.’
Patterson will compete in the men’s 15K plus 15K skiathlon on Feb. 6 at 10 p.m. AKST.
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