Happy summer!!

I hope you’re all having fun enjoying the beautiful warm weather the US has to offer right now — I know I’m loving it!

My experience in New York City over the past month was honestly beyond words; I enjoyed every single moment! I took a Creative Writing program — a combination of 2 classes and an evening “colloquium,” where my peers and I got to engage in numerous readings, publishing house tours, and literary tours around the city — as a Visiting Student at NYU! (Upon attending Columbia, I’ll be able to transfer those credits over from NYU.) My favorite part about the classes was getting to hear feedback from a diverse range of peers. My classmates ranged from ages 17-27 and all had different experiences to their name: some were NYU students; some had already finished their undergraduate studies; some were aspiring actors; others lived abroad. I had workshopped academic essays in the past, but never fictionalized stories. This opportunity, while novel to me, far exceeded my expectations. My classmates made the process enjoyable and welcoming — both of which I appreciated!

Some of my classmates and I in front of the Writer’s House on the last day of classes.

It was also pretty fun to engage in a world where mogul skiing is completely unknown. I wasn’t evaluated by my technique, or what tricks I could do, or how I was training in the gym — rather, I was seen as a human being. Just me! And furthermore, plunging into a world that orbits completely outside my own got me to think beyond myself and my sport, forcing me to be aware of the bigger picture. That’s a beneficial and refreshing perspective I’ll definitely remember come competition time.

Throughout the month, too, I got a taste of what the typical college experience is like: I lived in a dorm, had a meal plan, etc. I also kept up with my workouts and played tourist (alongside some new and old friends alike!) in one of the craziest, most overwhelming, exciting, and stimulating locations I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. All in all, I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity to both study and explore one of the greatest places in the world. Below are some of my favorite pictures from various adventures over the course of this past June…

Visiting Columbia on a rainy day. I fall in love with the campus more and more each time I visit! It’s starting to feel like home 🙂
Early on in my time in NYC, I spent the day with Claire (one of my friends from Stanford OHS), her family, and some of her friends from Connecticut College!
The Queensboro Bridge at sunset.
Washington Square Park – just a few steps outside my dorm!
My friend, Taryn (who used to mogul ski too!), in front of the Flatiron Building.
One of my friends from my dorm at the Lincoln Center.
Watching a Yankees game with my step-grandfather.
My cousin, Reilly, and I at Smorgasburg, a delicious food truck fair in Brooklyn.
Katie, one of my friends I played soccer with in high school, and I at lunch in Greenwich Village.
One of my favorite paintings in the Chelsea Art Galleries.
A busy street in Chinatown.
The playbill for Hadestown, a Broadway play that I saw with my grandparents towards the end of my trip!

While I already missed New York City upon my return home, much of my heart lies in Park City with my family. Now that I’m going on my fourth year here, it’s beginning to feel like home in all of the best ways. 🙂 Over the course of the past week, the days have been a whirlwind; I’ve started back up with some water ramping and taken advantage of my gorgeous surroundings. One of my favorite days thus far was July 4th, where I spent my morning marching in the parade on Main Street in Park City on the US Ski Team float. The patriotism I witnessed on that day was remarkable — and exactly why I’m proud to be American.

With some friends at the 4th of July Parade on Main Street!

Beyond July 4th, too, I’ve loved watching the country rally around the US Women’s National Soccer Team as they’ve charged their way to their 4th World Cup tournament win – the most of any soccer team ever! Watching them ensnare the nation’s attention in one fell swoop was exciting to watch. Before the tournament began, there were empowering ads plastered around NYC (such as the two below) that I loved stumbling upon.

A pretty sweet ad of Alex Morgan near Times Square.
More ads in the subway.

Finally, as for what’s next (thanks for staying with me, I know that was a packed update!)… I depart for a camp in Mount Hood, Oregon, on the 15th, where I’ll be primarily working on my jumping! I’m excited to keep this fun summer rolling!!

Until next time,

Olivia 🙂