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A very happy greeting before the women's GS.
A very happy greeting with Ieva before the women's GS on Sochi.

I Speak Original Lithuanian

Even before I left for Sochi, Lietuvos Rytas television journalist Rita Stankevičiūtė contacted me to ask if I’d mind giving an interview. Of course, I never mind the chance to promote my skiers, and I quickly agreed. And then she asked me, “Do you speak Lithuanian?” Sure I said, I just can’t write very well.

Off to Sochi we went, and up to Rosa Khutor on a sloppy Tuesday morning to watch the women’s giant slalom. Rita found me after the race, pointed a camera in my face, and asked me if I was ready. The fruits of that interview appeared in a segment titled “Olympic Fever.”

After the interview, I told Rita, still speaking Lithuanian, “I’m so embarrassed for my Lithuanian. You know, I really learned it from the kids.”

“Don’t worry,” she replied. “It was good. Very… original.”

So here it is, my original Lithuanian. My segment starts at 3:10. I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t speak a word of Lithuanian, you’ll still find this pretty funny. And, I’ve translated the transcript below. Just know that as you roar with laughter, you’re laughing with me!


Rita: Alpine skier Ieva Januskeviciute finished her race today with a crash, but one person had traveled more than two days to watch Ieva’s Olympic debut, on three separate airplanes and then taking a train. Lithuanian-American Jennifer Virskus trained our alpine skiers in Vilnius at the “Kalnų Ereliai” ski club when they were children.

Me: It’s unbelievable, you know, I can’t believe that we’re standing there and watching, and we think, “Wait, we’re at the Olympics, and we’re watching Ieva—what is this?” I don’t understand, I don’t know! It’s less than nine years since I started the club.

[When Ieva] was young, she had these terrible, terrible skis. I remember that they were red—Atomic. And she fell all the time because her ski fell off all the time. But every time, she took her ski, put it back on, and skied to the finish. Every time.

[I told her,] today is just for the experience. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s only for the experience. In four years, we’ll see what you can do.

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