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Olympic Journal: Bill and Nancy Bauer

February 23, 2002
By William and Nancy Bauer

Talked to John following the 50 Km. It was one tough race, with warm temps and the wrong wax. We watched him slipping on the hills, and knew he wasn't having a good race. After leaving the stadium for the second time, he even stopped to apply a warmer klister. I have never seen that at this level, which tells you how bad it was. The new klister helped him finish the race in a respectable position, but not at all what John had in mind. It has been a fantastic Olympics for John, and we are extremely proud and happy for him. Antonina said it best: John deserves a special medal for competing against "professional skiers" and placing so high. He did it totally on his own, with no glacier camps, altitude tents, government funding, etc. Now it is time for me to leave this special place, and Bill and I will fondly remember the sunny days, cheering fans and mountain beauty of Soldier Hollow. Thanks to all the volunteers who made these American Olympics so great.

John sent the following message to us on his 50km race on Sunday:

    Tough go in the 50 K today. Had hoped to improve on a 12th place finish but it wasn't to be. Much went wrong....bad skis the worst culprit....and ended up rewaxing just to finish the race. Skied 17 km, one loop, with just my arms. No fun, but my 35th improves upon the best Nagano finish. Plan tomorrow to watch the ladies race and pack up. Have to leave for closing at 2 pm and will be leaving the splendid town of Heber for good, with fond memories. I will see all of you soon.

John Bauer will return to his home state of snowless Minnesota on Monday, February 25th. He will fly to Minneapolis and arrive at 5:08 PM on flight #678. He will be at the airport for approximately 1 hour before boarding flight #3337 departing at 6:35 PM for Duluth. If you are able and so inclined, you may join us in welcoming him home. We will be meeting John in the baggage claim area, near baggage claim #4 -- we'll have an Olympic banner with us.

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