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SOCHI 2014

Another Day In The Life… Of The “Go USA” Mittens

By Lisa Costantini | Nov. 01, 2013, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Boblsedder Jazmine Fenlator and Paralympic alpine skier Alana Nichols try me on at the "Today" show.


Fun at the "Today" show!
These athletes catch on quick - I'll be useful in Russia, too!
Hope those shades don't steal my spotlight! Man, those Hughes
sisters are pretty

Gentle throws only, please!
Oh hi there, Mr. DeGraw
The nice lady whose purse I was in was THRILLED to meet Elmo
Not another dog...
Please don't step on me ... please don't step on me

Ever since the United States Olympic Committee’s semiannual Media Summit last month, when we took the Go USA mittens out of their zippered pouch and let them experience the world, we’ve had a hard time getting them to go back in. So with the 100 Day Countdown to Sochi taking place in New York City’s Times Square Oct. 29, we decided to let them have a little fun. But with one condition — they share their diary at the end of the day. Here is what the mittens had to say about what happened:

*To take me on adventures with you, support Team USA by buying a pair of mittens HERE.*  

6:30 a.m. – The curtains in my room are being thrown open at some ungodly hour, and I am being shoved into a box with dozens of my fellow mittens.

7 a.m. – It has suddenly gone dark and it feels as if we are in some sort of moving vehicle. Wonder where they are taking us?! I love surprises!

7:30 a.m. – They open the box we are in and I can finally see again. It looks as if we are at the “Today” show. How fun!

7:41 a.m. – Ohhh, Matt Lauer, over here! Carson Daly! Carson! Can you sign me?

8:31 a.m. – Someone starts reaching in the box and begins to toss us into a crowd of screaming people. Are we being punished for something?

8:32 a.m. – As mittens are being pulled from the box, I notice one of my fellow mittens has gold USA stitching, instead of white. Was I absent on makeover day?

8:35 a.m. – I am left sitting at the bottom of the box when I hear someone telling the crowd that whoever has the pair of mittens with the gold lettering will win a jacket like the ones the Olympic and Paralympic athletes are wearing.

8:40 a.m. – Figure skater Sarah Hughes and snowboarder Louie Vito talk to Lauer about the Raise Your Hands campaign. Ohh, look sharp, they’re talking about me!

9:30 a.m. – I am pulled from the box and pushed into the side pocket of someone’s purse. The person carrying me holds up her hands in front of her as if she is showing off Go USA mittens. What is she doing?

9:32 a.m. – The person she is with takes a photo with her phone and I see that she has some sort of app that imposes a pair of mittens onto the person in the photo.

9:33 a.m. - She says it is something called a Snaps! app. I am pretty sure I did not okay the use of my image, but I’ll let this one slide.

10:15 a.m. – After three hours in the cold I am finally taken into a warm building and allowed to rest in the lobby for a couple of minutes. 

10:18 a.m. – Looks like my break is over. I hear someone with a great sounding voice say something about having seen me around, and the two of us posing for a picture. Where do you want me mister? This is not my first rodeo, you know?

10:19 a.m. – As the guy in the pork pie hat starts to put me on, I realize this isn’t his first photo session either — it’s musician Gavin DeGraw!

11 a.m. – I leave the lobby and am being carried up to a hotel room. Um hello, does anyone want to tell me what is going on? I’m scared.

11:20 a.m. – From my spot on the chair I see something red and furry enter the room. This better not be where they try to force me onto some slobbery creature again.

11:25 a.m. – After a couple of introductions I realize the red furry thing is Elmo from “Sesame Street.” Freakin’ Elmo! This guy is my idol. It is because of him that I wanted to grow up to be soft and cute. And he is wearing a tiny version of me. This is amazing!!!

12:11 p.m. – Elmo films a bunch of spots wearing his Go USA mittens.

12:41 p.m. – When he wraps, the lady who has been carrying me puts me on and poses me next to Elmo and his mittens. I can die a pair of happy mittens now.

1:12 p.m. – I am still coming down from the high of meeting my hero when I am whisked back into the cold and onto an athlete’s hands who is making the rounds in the media zone.

3:30 p.m. – I am put back into the purse and head down Broadway Street with a group of people. We enter a building that has a giant Jumbotron on the front and is all lit up. Above the door says NASDAQ.

3:46 p.m. – We are all standing around waiting for 4 p.m. when Olympic SportsMan of the Year alpine skier Ted Ligety will ring the closing bell. The head honcho at NASDAQ gets up to make a speech.

3:47 p.m. – I start to doze off when I hear him say “Raise Your Hands.” Hey, I got a shout-out. Sweet.

3:51 p.m. – USOC CEO Scott Blackmun takes the stage to say a few words and also works the “Raise Your Hands” campaign into his speech. Maybe I should be the one ringing the closing bell? Ted, let’s talk.

5 p.m. – After almost a half hour of sitting in a nice warm conference room someone grabs me off the table and shoves me back into the purse.

5:06 p.m. - Within minutes we are out in the cold again. It appears as if we are taking a walk down Broadway. This is nice — I never get to just enjoy the sight on these work trips.

5:12 p.m. – As we continue to walk, I catch a whiff of a foul odor. Eww, what is that?

5:13 p.m. – I peek out from the purse to see where that smell is coming from. Oh no, it is another one of those slobbery animals. It looks kind of like the bulldog I came across at Media Summit, but this thing is way bigger. The truck next to him says Budweiser on it.

5:15 p.m. – I hear the lady who is carrying me talking to another woman. They are discussing whether or not I could fit onto a Clydesdale’s ears. What is a Clydesdale and when did it stop being cool to just wear me on your hands?

5:26 p.m. – After being told that the tall neighing creatures would get “angry” if I were to be put on their ears, I am placed on the ground in front of their giant imposing hoofs. Please don’t step on me. Please don’t step on me.

5:33 p.m. – We take a couple of photos together and then they walk me over to another guy.

5:34 p.m. – The guy is with someone — or something — who appears to be following him on a leash of some kind.

5:35 p.m. – It comes out from behind me and isn’t as big as those Clydesdale things and appears to have black and white spots. The guy instructs this so-called Dalmatian to “sit”. As quickly as I fear they are going to put me on him, they lay me down in front of him.

5:38 p.m. – After a couple more photos, we are done. That wasn’t too bad. We head back to the hotel to get ready for the Closing Ceremony.

6:00 p.m. – The Closing Ceremony starts and there is a ton of activity in Times Square. From the confines of this warm purse I can see kids playing games, people eating containers of yogurt and athletes demonstrating their sports.

7:05 p.m. – A master of ceremonies takes to the main stage and directs everyone to the Jumbotron above our heads. On it Late Night’s Jimmy Fallon appears wearing me! I’m humongous. Is anyone recording this? I want to put it on my Facebook page.

7:06 p.m. – Fallon tells everyone to raise their hands for Team USA. When he pans to the audience at his late night show they are ALL wearing me. This is soooo cool.

7:07 p.m. – The late night host leads his studio audience in a chant of “Go USA.” The group out in Times Square joins in.

7:45 p.m. – Singer DeGraw takes the stage and begins a three-song set of some of his hits.

7:53 p.m. – The last song he does is one he says he wrote about Team USA called “Everything Will Change.”

7:54 p.m. – The person whose purse I’ve been in suddenly pulls me out and puts me on.

8:00 p.m. – She starts clapping her hands above her head and when I look out I see that a lot of people are doing the same thing. It’s like a mitten mosh pit. This is definitely going down as one of my favorite days ever.

*To take me on adventures with you, support Team USA by buying a pair of mittens HERE.*  


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