By the time we got through the airport and collected our bags, it was almost 8am, and Mark's competition was scheduled to begin at 9. Craig had arranged for a friend of his to pick us up and drive us to the event. When he arrived, we hopped in his car, said quick hellos, and he hit the gas. We were flying down unfamiliar roads at (what I thought were) illegal speeds, and I just prayed this guy knew where he was going.

I figured that I should have been using the drive to marvel in the gorgeous Russian scenery, but I was so nervous that I completely forgot to be a tourist. I pulled a hairbrush out of my purse and ran it quickly but thoroughly through my hair. I brought out my small Covergirl compact mirror and checked my reflection. I hadn't thought to put makeup on, but since it was cold, my face actually looked pretty decent. My cheeks were rosy and glowing from the icy winter air. I noticed Craig looking at me, and asked him if he wanted to borrow my mirror.

He laughed. "I've never seen a person check themself out as much as you." I stuck my tongue out at him, happy to have him back to his regular, jokester self.

It was exactly 8:59 when we reached the parking lot of the venue. Craig's buddy (I forgot his name) flashed his parking pass at security and successfully parked us. We thanked him briefly and scrambled out, nearly spirinting towards the gate in an  attempt  to see Mark.

Checking the nearest schedule, we saw that Mark was going to be the third person to compete. The first guy hadn't even gone yet, so we were fine for time.

Craig then informed me that he was going up to the athlete's tent to find Mark before his run. "Do you wanna come with?" He asked, careful not to pressure me just yet. I hesitated before answering.

"I think I'll just watch from down here." I mumbled shyly, suddenly scared to face Mark again. Snap out of it Liz! I scolded myself. Now was not the time to be petty.

I pushed my way through the crowd of fans to a spot where I could see the snowboarders, but I knew I wasn't visible from the slope. Just like I wanted. I tried to ignore the audience babbling around me, particularly two girls my age standing right next to me. They had accents of some sort, my guess was Irish.

"I'm only here to see Mark McMorris, I hear he's fit!" A blonde girl exclaimed, both her and her redhead friend giggling. Her friend than asked "Does he have a girlfriend?" I listened it, waiting to hear the blonde's answer. "Well, I read online that he had a 'thing' going on with Coco Ho, that gorgeous surfer fromm Hawaii!" My blood started boiling, and I'm sure my face was starting to turn red.

The other girl commented, adding "Oh really? They would be such a good couple, I hope she is his girlfriend!" More giggling. Thankfully, the announcer came over the loud speaker, introducing the first competitor. He was a Japanese guy who's name I sadly could not pronounce nor remember, so I just cheered him on by clapping. He got about halfway through the course before wiping out. I encouraged him, but I couldn't help but feel a small wave of relief, thinking that was now less competition for Mark.

The next athlete began, a guy named Billy, from Great Britain. Now let me tell you, I don't know much about slopestyle, but I can tell you that guy had a near-perfect run. I even joined in the crowd's deafening cheers, though I was more nervous than ever for Mark.

A few minutes later, I saw a figure clad in all black take his place at the starting line. My heart fluttered, and I screamed as loud as I could. The horn blew, and off he went. I watched him the whole way down, and he looked good, even great (that was an unbiased opinion of course). But, I couldn't help but feel a slight doubt that it may not have been enough to overtake Billy's top spot.

Sure enough, Mark was 1.50 points too short. I was a bit disappointed, but I still had hope. As long as nobody else beat him out, he would advance to the final. The top four from the semi-finals were moving on, and I just prayed he would be one of them.

The rest of the riders took their turns, and nobody was good enough to knock out Mark or Billy. That is, until the very end. The final rider of the semi-finals was Sage Kotsenburg, from the USA. Come to think of it, he may have been at Craig's party too. Huh. Small world.

Sage also had a great run, and it was enough to bump Mark down to the third place spot. I wasn't phased, because I knew that McMorris had it in him to pull through and capture the first gold for Canada.

I left the crowd, trying to find Craig in the sea of strangers. Suddenly, there was chaos to my right, and I turned to check out the situation. All of the riders were coming down for a half-hour break. Security guards separated them from the fans, but I managed to get in a decent viewing area. In the middle of the pack of duded was Mark, red faced and extremely sweaty.

"Mark!" I yelled, trying desperately to capture his attention. All of the other teenage girls around me were also screaming at him, so I had to resist the urge to go around and punch each of them. I managed to control my temper and just keep yelling. "Mark!" I called again, as loud as my lungs would let me.

This time, he looked up. With a confused look on his face, he glanced around, probably searching for a lunatic fan. He didn't see me, so I decided to do something completely impulsive and irrational.

Do you know the game Red Rover that people play in gym class, where there are two teams on opposite sides of the floor, and each team is holding hands? One at a time, a person from the other side has to run over and try to break through a chain of arms. Well, that's kind've what I did. I got a fast run going, and then, using all of my non-existent speed and strength, I plowed right between two security guards.

To my surprise, I made it through. I was expecting to be tazed at any moment, so I tried to find Mark as quickly as possible. A lot of the Olympians took notice, staring at the crazy chick who was stalking the riders.

All of a sudden, I felt a strong pair of arms wrap around my stomach. No! I thought. I needed to see Mark before the finals, but he was nowhere in sight and my hope had begun to fade. Then, he finally emerged from the group. "Liz?" He asked, questioning himself. When he actually recognized me, I could see his expression change to panic. The guards were pulling me away.

Mark surged forward and pulled at their arms. "No no, it's fine! She's with me she's...a friend." Slowly, the guards let go of me and backed away, giving me the stink eye. Nice day to you too fellas.

Everyone around us filed away, so we just stood and stared at each other in disbelief. I had a million thoughts rushing through my mind, but I had no idea where to even begin.

I was going to start by saying hi, Mark beat me to it. "Well...nice seeing you Liz." He mumbled. Then, he turned his back and walked away, leaving me alone in the middle of the parking lot.

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