Sports

Bremerton's Schaaf takes 5th in Olympic women's bobsled; family having a ball

Bremerton's Bree Schaaf and teammate Emily Azevedo placed fifth in the women’s boblsed competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler.

The duo finished with an overall time of 3 minutes, 34.05 seconds in four races, including a time of 53.40 in the final race Wednesday.

The Canadian team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won gold.

From one event to the next, the family and friends of Schaaf have kept plenty busy at the Olympics.

Mother Terri Schaaf took some time Wednesday, before Bree's final two runs down the Whistler track, to catch up with the Bremerton Patriot and Central Kitsap Reporter.

Here's what she had to say:

Q: Describe your experiences at Whistler.

A: We are having an amazing time in Whistler. The place is packed, with everyone dressed in their country's colors. The streets of Whistler are a non-stop party with concerts and big screens running Olympic events all day. We were having coffee with a huge crowd watching USA play Canada in hockey, in the heart of Whistler. We were out-numbered, but it was a friendly rivalry. The cheering was as loud as if you were at the hockey arena.

Q: And what about the night life?

A: We have a large group of family and friends with us. The young adults in our group having been enjoying the night life. The clubs are filled with athletes that are done with their event, and the parties have gone late into the night. The lines to get into the clubs are long, but if you are an athlete you seem to be given priority for entrance. One of the members of our group is on the Olympic Alpine ski team, so our group was able to get into all the clubs. They had a blast.

Q: What was your reaction following the death of the Georgian luge athlete, knowing Bree would race on the same track?

A: Given the amount of coverage and controversy regarding the safety of the Whistler track, I was so relieved and pleased that all the athletes made it down the track safely. As much as I was thrilled to watch my daughter reach her goal, it was heartbreaking to know the same track brought tragedy for another family. When I was at the track yesterday and walking up the hill to sit at the finish, I found myself starting to tear up, and then I realized I was walking past the last turn. There was nothing to make it stand out, until I looked closely to see the additional wall that was added, and the padding on the posts. However, the night was Bree's, and there was nothing somber in the joviality that followed the sad reminder of the real risks of sliding sports.

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