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Cook reflects on first Olympics

Making music video among highlights for Saranac Lake native

February 21, 2014
By CHRIS KNIGHT ( , Lake Placid News

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - When she hangs up her biathlon rifle for good, Annelies Cook might have to consider a career in video production.

The 28-year-old from Saranac Lake spent some of her downtime during the Sochi Winter Olympics making a music video with her roommate, fellow U.S. women's biathlon team member Hannah Dreissigacker and other teammates.

The nearly five-minute video features Olympic athletes, coaches and volunteers and anyone else the group could find dancing to Pharell Williams' song "Happy" at various sites around Endurance Village, where the cross-country skiing and biathlon athletes are staying.

Article Photos

Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake skis in her last race of the Sochi Winter Olympics, Friday's 4-by-6-kilometer relay.
(Enterprise photo - Chris Knight)

"I think the coolest thing was going up to people, random people, and asking them to dance for us, and how excited people were," Cook said. "Once you did that, then people would talk to you, so I got to meet a lot of volunteers and hear their stories. Just asking different athletes to dance for us and breaking down those barriers was really special."

Cook said the video was her idea, but all members of the team contributed. Dreissigacker is the one with "all the computer skills" who edited and put the video together, Cook said.

Does she think it will go viral?

"That'd be awesome," Cook said. "Who knows? Doesn't really matter because it was just fun to make."

The music video was the first thing Cook mentioned when asked about her favorite moments of her first Olympics.

The sublime mountain setting of the games, particularly the biathlon venue, is also something Cook said she'll remember.

"I was out skiing for my warm up and the sun was setting, and it was so beautiful," she said. "I feel like Sochi's gift to everyone is how amazingly beautiful it is here, and that's been really cool.

"And having my parents be here to come and hug me after my first two races. Those are probably like the three really special things for me."

Asked if she plans to be around to compete in the next Olympics, Cook said, "We'll see. Maybe we should talk in two years."

She says she definitely plans to compete for at least one more year.

"I'm not really satisfied with this year," she said. "I don't want to end on a note where I'm like, 'That wasn't really awesome.'"

Cook will be in Europe after the Olympics to compete in several more World Cup competitions. She said she'll be back in Saranac Lake sometime in March.



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