When you ask Olympic sports announcer Peter Graves what he packed for his trip to Sochi, Russia, his answer may surprise you.
"Granola bars I'm bringing with me, I got a lot of beef jerky, I have a lot of salsa," Graves said.
But if there is anyone who knows what to bring to the Winter Games it's Graves. Sochi will be his eighth.
"I have been honored to be a part of this movement and I believe in the Olympic movement very, very strongly," he said. "Of course there are always problems with it, but it brings people together."
Graves' Olympic experience began in Lake Placid in 1980. He covered cross-country skiing and biathlon and was in the broadcast studio for the Miracle on Ice, an experience he will never forget.
"I was 25 years old and not very skilled in sports journalism nuance and all of a sudden you're standing in-- it was the Lake Placid Hilton and Jim McKay and Don Meredith and Frank Gifford and, and like my goodness! This is a little bit overwhelming," Graves recalled.
His specialty is live commentary for those attending the games, rather than listening at home on TV. In Sochi, he'll announce the Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping event. Nick Alexander of Lebanon, N.H., will be among the competitors Graves will critique.
And as far as other local Olympic talent is concerned, like Burke Mountain Academy grad Mikaela Shiffrin, Graves says the U.S. team is stacked with outstanding athletes from our region.
"The traditions are so strong here and they are certainly going to continue," he said.
Franconia's Bode Miller will be attending his fifth winter games. Graves, who is a former cross-country ski coach for Harvard, attributes his success and the many other New Englanders on team to access to the sport.
"I think the key thing, Adam, is really strong development programs here. Youth programs that are accessible, that are not too expensive, that people can get in," Graves said.
And when they make it big this Thetford resident will likely be there to cover them.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: I know you are a Vermonter but can you deal with the temps?
Peter Graves: Oh, easy. It's been colder here than it has been in Sochi.
Olympic Games a continent away that will be covered by a local talent of our own.
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