HELLO My Name Is...
Meet the new racers
on the masters circuit
BY BILL MCCOLLOM
AN ITALIAN CARDIOLOGIST from Connecticut,
a college student from Vermont, a Utah freeskier, and
an ex-Canadian National Ski Team downhiller are
among several of the new faces appearing in regional
masters ski racing circuits this season. Despite their
diverse ages, abilities and backgrounds, all have made
the commitment to compete this winter, and all are
so excited they can’t wait until the next racing opportunity.
Nicola Corvaja may be new to Eastern masters ski
racing, but he’s not hard to spot. The bib that would
put him in Class 7 is a clue, but the blue Italian Na-
tional Team speedsuit is the giveaway. The wearing of
the blue suit is more than just a fashion statement for
Corvaja; it’s a reminder of his heritage.
The 55-year-old Corvaja grew up near Florence, Italy,
without much thought of skiing or ski racing. He picked
Kevin Brower takes on a
different type of fall line.
up the sport only in his 20s at the nearby resort of Abet-
one, but put it aside to take a professional hiatus while he
pursued his medical career. But when he acceted a posi-
tion in the cardiology departments of Stamford Hospital
and Columbia Medical Center in 1999 and settled down
in Stamford, Conn., things changed.
“I’ve always loved being active and the skiing lifestyle,
but I was tired of just freeskiing,” says Corvaja. “Ski racing
has always been attractive to me, so I decided to pursue
This commitment took Corvaja to racing camps in Val
Gardena during trips back to Italy where he was coached
by several ex-World Cup stars, and then to follow-up
camps at Stratton and Killington. He also tries to get out
to nearby Mount Southington to pick up some gate train-
ing when time permits.
Corvaja is realistic about his expectations, given his late
start in the sport. “So far everyone in my class is better
than I am, but that really doesn’t matter,” he says. “I com-