Kornfield to celebrate birthday at Olympic opening ceremony

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Olympic competition begins on Thursday, and a handful of Alaskan Olympians are already in Pyeongchang, like Anchorage Nordic skier Tyler Kornfield.

“Super stoked to be here,” Kornfield said over Facetime on Wedensday.

Kornfield is one of 11 Nordic skiers from Alaska making the trip to the Winter Games, and he's been spending the past four days adjusting to life at his first Olympics.

“There’s a lot of things you expect from the Olympics when you grow up, and then there’s a lot of things that happen behind the scenes,” Kornfield said.

One of the adjustments to living in an Olympic Village is the heavy security. Kornfield says it’s essentially on lock-down with a helicopter flying overhead, traveling from one place to another.

The village where Kornfield and Team USA cross-country skiers are staying is just 10 minutes away from the location where the Olympic Opening Ceremonies will be held on Friday, which is Kornfield’s 27th birthday.

“I’ll be walking in it. It'll be the best birthday present ever. I’m pretty excited about that,” Kornfield said.

With so many Alaskan skiers making the trip alongside Kornfield, he says the transition has been a natural one.

“It’s going to be like we are at a regular race at Kincaid Park,” Kornfield said. “It’s windy. It’s cold. The snow is a little bit slow. It’s like we are at home.”

Kornfield and fellow Alaska Pacific skier Scott Patterson have already spent time training in Pyeongchang. Both skiers will compete for Team USA in the Men's 50k Classic on February 24.

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