SOCHI, Russia – Every athlete wants to finish on top at the Olympics. U.S. speed skater Maria Lamb decided she wanted to be on top of the Olympics.
The 28 year old from Park City, Utah, caused a scene in the Olympic Village on Tuesday when she scaled the large freestanding Olympic rings located around the athletes’ housing, situating herself between the blue and black circles. What began as a moment of quiet accomplishment quickly became a photo op, as she was surrounded by cameras from media touring the village.
“I just decided to climb up for fun. I didn’t realize it would cause such a stir!” she said.
An Olympic long-track skater, Lamb was the only American to qualify for the women’s 5,000-meter speed skating in Sochi. It’s her third Olympics ... it was her first time scaling the rings.
“They haven’t had nice ones like this available,” she said.
She honed her skills of ascension growing up in River Falls, Wisc., climbing trees for fun. “The highest I’ve ever been was on top of a mountain. Longs Peak in Colorado,” she said. “It was a little bit taller than this, but you have to make due with what you have.”
Lamb chatted up bystanders surrounding her, as athletes from other nations strolled by. The speed skaters are housed in the Coastal Cluster in Sochi, apartment housing located near the water in the Russian resort town.
“I can see the Black Sea from here!” said Lamb, from her perch.
Eventually, Lamb hopped down from the rings, got on her bike and rode off into the vast Olympic Village. It was a self-issued challenge that she conquered; like every other athlete here, pushing herself to greater heights.
“I just wanted to see if I could get to the top,” she said.