Written by Joy

Just before Thanksgiving we were pleasantly surprised to learn we had won a trip to see JR Celski compete in the Olympic pre-trials in Salt Lake City Utah! I had never been to Utah or anything like the event we were going to see, so I really didn’t know what to expect but I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would!

We were scheduled to fly to Utah, Friday January 3, 2014, after a major snow storm in Ohio, so we met Nathan’s parents at a hotel near the airport to be close by for our early morning flight. Adelia didn’t sleep well that night but she did great on the planes. When we arrived, we were met by Aim staff, Darla and her husband Dan who had flown in earlier and rented a van. They and all the AIM staff made us feel like royalty our whole time there!


 Follow the directions for an autograph from JR

After getting settled into our hotel room and changing into our JR Celski team shirts we headed off to the Olympic Oval to see our first day of races. Stacy (AIM staff) had arrived early and fought off the masses to save us all seats. JR’s parents, family, friends, AIM staff and winners of the contest took up a whole section of the bleachers and I think we were the loudest group there, as we cheered for JR and his closest friends. We were provided with lots of fun things to show our support for JR, including T-shirts, a sweatshirt and mittens with JR’s name on them, a large face of JR, signs and an AIM jacket!

We learned that the racer with the most points, in the particular division of the race, wears an orange helmet cover, which makes them easier to follow. We watched JR win every race except for one, which he came in second place. So he gave up his orange helmet for a while and that really tricked me as I saw the orange helmet come around the rink before the race began and in a very quiet moment yelled out “GO JR!” The group quickly but nicely reminded me that isn’t JR and the announcer across the rink must have heard too as he began explaining that “the orange helmet is worn by so-n-so who has the most points in this division of race etc.”



JR has had a remarkable journey in his skating career! He started on in line roller blades when he was only 4 years old and worked his way to the top. By age 11 he switched speedskating (on ice) and by age 14 he moved away from his parents to California for training. He has won a multitude of metals from bronze to gold and made a comeback after a terrible injury when he wiped out and his blade sliced through his thigh, barely missing a major artery.

JR is an avid user of the AIM products and depends heavily on them for increased strength and endurance. He readily states how the AIM products have helped him and has shared it with others. His friend and competitor Eddy Alvarez and coach are both using the AIM products as well! We learned from his father that JR drinks a mixture of CalciAIM, RediBeets and Peak all day long for endurance and takes a lot of AIMega to aid with tissue repair. The AIM products must be working well for JR as he currently holds the 500m World Record of 39.937!

JR and his beautiful Family 

We were amazed at how easy JR made it look as he glided around the rink with what looked like little effort in most of the races! We are really looking forward to watching him and Eddy in the Olympics this year along with the entire US Speedskating Team!

After watching our first night of races we returned to the hotel and as we took turns showering we noticed black water begin to fill the sink! We contacted the front desk who informed us that the hotel was completely full and provided us with a few extra towels. The water began to subside and we thought it would go down during the night with less water being used. After much walking, nursing and bouncing I finally got Adelia to sleep at 1am and laid down for some much needed rest. About a half hour later, Nathan sat straight up in bed saying “It’s dripping! The skink is overflowing!” I hopped out of bed, ran to the skink – yep, it’s overflowed – then quickly called the front desk. “Our sink is overflowing!” “ok…. ummm…… Well, what happened?” It’s overflowing onto the floor, we need towels NOW!” He finally understood and said he would have some right away. Soon there was a knock and we had to inform this gentleman of the entire nights events. (It seemed the previous shift had not passed the word). This gentleman began talking of moving us to another hotel etc… and I stood there in a daze kind of nodding my head as he talked. He left saying he would call his manager and I would talk to the rest of our group (Nathan and his parents). As I closed the door it hit me…. That would mean packing up the entire room (not a small task), waking up the baby, going out in the freezing cold, getting settled again and once again work to get the baby back to sleep. If this occurred I would not get ANY sleep and would probably have to miss the next days races. NO WAY! I put a jacket over my pj’s and tromped down to that front desk in my bare feet no less….

“Sir…” (I swallowed and used the moment to check myself and tried my best to be as polite as possible and keep control of my voice and how I word things) “… why can’t we get a plumbers snake or plunger in that sink to get the problem fixed?”

He looked at me and gave me some answer like “not sure that would work”. After a few more point blank plumbing questions (sure am glad I know some things about plumbing – Thanks Dad!) I was able to get out of him that this room has had this problem before and it is the last room on the sewer lines trip out of the building and the building was built on moss land just 6 years prior. I let him know that I did not want to move if at all possible and let’s just get a mote of towels (just in case it really over flows) and a cafeteria tray to cover the sink. He complied and apologized profusely. After about an hour I was able to lay back down for a few uneventful hours of sleep disturbed only by my sweet little one wanting to nurse.

JR is #ONE! 

As we left the next day the front desk informed us that an identical room had opened up on the second floor and it would be held for us to move into when we returned. Nathan, his parents and Adelia collected all our things while I took a much needed nap. We then all got fixed up and went to dinner with the larger group at a delicious Japanise Steak House where Nathan and I really enjoyed their vegetarian sushi.

The rest of our trip was delightful and uneventful as we rested well at the hotel and watched JR glide around the track at the Oval. We continued to watch the weather back home as record lows were forecasted and there had already been an impact on a lot of flights. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time and made it to our gate without any problems. But as we sat waiting for our plane I over heard the girl next to me, talking to her mom on the phone. Apparently she suffered through a 2 hour long line to get her luggage checked! We then heard from Nate, who stays at our house, that there was no water at our house! We communicated with him and my dad during our layovers and such to try to figure what the best thing to do would be. Both of our flights were delayed but we arrived in Columbus before the day ended and wondered if the car (parked at the hotel) would start in the sub-zero temperatures! We had to split into two taxi cars to get us and all our stuff back to the hotel. Nathan’s parents stayed there for the night as his mom was really not feeling well and our car did a lot of complaining and delaying but eventually started and we made it home by about 3 am. We assessed the water situation and got updates from Nate but there really wasn’t much we could do and climbed into our bed by about 4am Tuesday.

On Wednesday we noticed Adelia seemed to not be herself as she had lost that natural sparkle in her eye and she had a bit of a cough. Nathan, also wasn’t feeling so well and they both developed a cold over the next few days.

JR's picture on the Zamboni 

It’s now Saturday, 4 days of desert in our house and things outside have thawed including our pipes. We were able to turn our water on again at about 5pm yesterday. It has been an eventful week of using our big kerosene heater and electric pipe warmers in an attempt to keep the pipes from freezing too solid and hopefully keep them from breaking – which seemed to work! We now own a ‘street key’ which is the tool the city uses to turn water on and off from the street. This is an especially important tool for us as our main shut off valve is in the middle of our basement and there is plenty of pipe that could break or need work between the city shut off and our main shut off.

We are so thankful to have such wonderful neighbors who have allowed us to haul water from their house for use with flushing toilets and such. We already buy drinking water, so that wasn’t a problem and I strategically thought out meals that would require little dishes that weren’t paper or plastic.

Nathan and Adelia are still fighting this cold but we are happy to have running water again!


Here are some pictures from our trip...


Look at me Goooooooo!!!!!



A need for speed!


You didn't know I could do this?



 Our future Olympian...???


Adelia and Ma-Maw and Adelia's favorite toy....measuring spoons!




Rooting for JR


Dan behind bars.... Naughty Dan!


Darla laughing at Dan behind bars


Beautiful mountains of Salt Lake


 Beautiful AND Delicious!!!


 Pretty Girl!


 JR head on a stick


 With actress - Zoe Soul


 JR's coach