Hangin’ With Olympic Legend Bonnie Blair at the USA House

On Friday, I visited the USOC-run USA House. It is not open to the public and has become the stomping grounds for athletes, sponsors and dignitaries.

USOC Director of Corporate Partnerships John Pierce gave me a tour. The hip facility includes the USA Team Store, a media work room, the AT&T All-access Lounge with complimentary Acer laptops, Panasonic flat screens with a constant stream of the Olympics, Wii entertainment, the Bud Lounge with full bar facilities and a constant flow of free food.

My husband would have threatened to move in.

The USA House hosts both past and present Olympic athletes and at one point, I chatted with Olympic gold medal gymnast, Shawn Johnson.

Shawn Johnson at the USA House

OK, I mostly acted like a giggling groupie when I asked to take her picture.

The true highlight was meeting one of my idols: Olympic legend Bonnie Blair (see my interview with her here).

She was instrumental in helping me win the Microsoft Office Winter Games Contestand we spent an hour together talking about Office ’10, her Olympic experiences, and visiting Allstate’s Hall of Fame Tribute Wall where she will be included amongst the chalk murals. Bonnie told me the reason why I was her choice for winning the contest is because she loved the humorous perspective I share on my blog about motherhood.

Just another day on the job interviewing Olympic legend Bonnie Blair

Following our interview, we watched speed skating on the 105-inch Panasonic television in the Bud Lounge.Bonnie gave me the insider scoop on the behind-the-scenes action and we were reprimanded for being too loud.

Microsoft Crew with Bonnie Blair at the USA House

It was then I knew she was my kindred spirit.

It was fascinating to watch the qualifying heats of the 1,500m Men’s Short Track as Apolo Ohno strove to tie her record. I entitled this photo: “I’m coming for you.”

And he did later that night when he won the silver medal. He now shares Bonnie’s record for the most medals awarded to an athlete at the Winter Olympics.

She was, of course, gracious about his victory. I was so inspired and entertained by her that I knew I’d be her BFF if we lived in the same town.

Or I’d most certainly be her stalker.

Cool tidbit: The USA House had a smattering of guitars autographed by the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack Bands such as Sugarland, Hoobastand and others. To download these songs, go to www.att.net/TeamUSA or text USA to 2257. All proceeds benefit Team USA. Also, be sure to go to www.OfficeWinterGames.com to download your free Microsoft Office 2010 Beta.

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