Memories for a lifetime
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS A photo taken by Jeremy Melber shows the stage where the medal ceremony was held,following Sage Kotsenburg's win in the men's snowboarding slopestyle competition.
Jeremy Melber is making memories that will last him a lifetime.
Two years ago, he attended the Summer Olympics in London.
Now, the former Jim Thorpe native just returned from Sochi, Russia, where he and friends witnessed first-hand some of most elite competitions of the Winter Olympics.
Melber said recently that the trip experience overall was "very enjoyable."
He stayed in the Grand Hotel and Spa Rodina, a five-star hotel that many United States government officials use when they travel to Russia.
"The hotel was great," Melber said. "The food left something to be desired though."
He noted that through talks with a few other Americans visiting Sochi for the Olympics, not everyone fared as well in accommodations.
Rumors had been circulating of small, unfinished rooms, which according to Melber were true in some places. Some hotels provided guests with little to no quality and some even had to share bathrooms.
Threats and safety
Melber said that even though many terroristic threats had been made before the Olympics, he felt safe while there.
"The atmosphere was nowhere near as electric as the London Olympics," he said, "and (everyone) was very cautious, but I think that was due to the nature and laws of the country we were in, and the dangerous atmosphere surrounding it due to all the threats. The security around Olympic Village was definitely a 'Steel Wall' as the Russian government described it.
"At no time did I feel like we were in danger, however we also had a private car service so we could avoid public transportation."
The Olympic experience
Melber said that of all the events he attended, the most memorable moment was watching the American flag being raised after Sage Kotsenburg won the gold medal in the men's snowboarding slopestyle finals on Feb. 8.
Other memorable moments included watching Bode Miller in the Men's Alpine and J.R. Celski race in the men's short track.
He also complimented Russia's design of the Olympic Park.
"The International Olympic Committee did a great job with the design of Olympic Park and the ease of getting to the events," Melber said, adding that he is really looking forward to attending the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Melber, who now lives in Lower Macungie, previously served on the Jim Thorpe Borough Council and Jim Thorpe School Board.