Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It took me about 20 hours, but I made it to PyeongChang - Here is the process

My flight out of San Francisco was at 10:55am this morning, so I planned on leaving the house around 8am. My nerves got the best of me last night, and I didn't sleep very well. So I was up at 5am and taking care of all the last minute things I needed to get done before leaving for the month.

I arrived at San Francisco Intl Airport around 9am and, after grabbing a coffee and breakfast sandwich at Starbucks, made my way to the gate. As expected, the flight was pretty full and there were a lot of people waiting at the gate. Luckily, United Airlines offered all Team USA people early boarding, so along with many of the figure skaters, snowboarders and ski jumpers, I got on and got all my gear in the overheads (and don't worry - there was plenty of room for everyone).

The flight lasted about 13 hours, but I watched some movies on my iPad Pro and stood in the back and talked to the flight attendants for a while. Heck, I even traded one of my USA Hockey pins from Sochi for a United Olympic pin.

My first pin trade of the Games and I wasn't even there yet!

When we landed, I figured that I would be spending at least an hour or more at the airport going through immigration and Olympic credentialing.

The quarantine area
But the Koreans were incredibly efficient and I went through the quarantine area, got my credentials laminated, past through immigration, and got my luggage in 15 minutes.

Credential Validation entry
Where we get our credentials laminated (and they insert an RFID chip)
FYI - this same process took hours at the last two Olympics!

Not only was I happy to be jamming through the entry process, but I was also enjoying the cool Olympic decorations.

And in no time I was walking out of the airport.

There were a lot of Olympic helpers at the airport to help direct myself and the others to the bullet train.

As promised...my Olympic credentials secured me two seats on the bullet train - one for me and one for my luggage.

My flight landed at 4pm and I was on the train by 5:10.

The ride on the train was longer than I expected with a total trip time of more than 2 hours. I ended up at the final stop which was Gangneung, where I was directed to take a bus to the Media Village. I was able to check in and get the key to my room, grab a quick bite to eat, and now I am getting ready to sleep (for the first time in 22 hours).

Tomorrow I will be heading to the Main Press Center, the USOC office and a lot more. Stay tuned.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this adventure with us. I look forward to your blogs and pics throughout the games.

JCusack said...

Awesome, so exciting and it’s just the beginning 😊
Jenn C

JCusack said...

So exciting and it’s just beginning 😊📸

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