Team USA Winterfest in St. Paul, MN sets stage for 2018 Winter O - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Team USA Winterfest in St. Paul, MN sets stage for 2018 Winter Olympics

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ST. PAUL, MN (KTIV) -

A picture-postcard perfect snow did not stop thousands from slipping and sliding into Team USA Winterfest in downtown St. Paul.

In fact,  the flakes made it more fun.

From curling, to getting to sit in an Olympic bobsled, to a virtual reality trip down a skeleton course -- the day was a paradise for fans of the cold weather.

"This was a great partnership with the St. Paul Winter Carnival, to have Team USA and Winterfest be their last stop before the Olympic winter games," said St. Paul Festival Board Chair Jen Tumburo. "Just a great sendoff to get excited about the USA Olympic team going on and competing on the world stage."

A 70 ft. tall ice palace -- made with 4,000 blocks of ice, was a show stopper. The St. Paul sky scrapers dwarfed by the 'ice scrapers'.

"It's just beautiful," added Tumburo. "It just makes you excited about how we have fun in winter in Minnesota and for the US Olympic team."

Several current and former Olympians also mingled with the crowd, including two-time Olympian Jeremy Bloom, who competed for the US in freestyle skiing in '02 and '06. He got the crowd pumped up for team red, white and blue.
    
"Celebrating and getting excited for the PyeongChang Olympics, which is right around the corner. It's Thursday night," said Bloom. "So we have the Super Bowl on Sunday. We have the Winter Olympics on Thursday. Life is pretty good. We don't let the weather get in the way of our fun. It's been nice to meet all the local people, very friendly people, excited to be out  here in this beautiful weather. I can't say the same for my former teammates on the NFL side. Everybody's freezing and they're like why aren't we in Miami. I'm like welcome to winter, this is what it's all about."

The Winter Olympics start Thursday, here on KTIV, and opening ceremonies are Friday.

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