race day, course inspection, foul weather, tuned tered. I didn’t know we would have to move to
skis, podiums, teamwork, and the single-minded another part of the country in order to be near a
pursuit of excellence. It’s what we do. ski academy and close to an international airport.
It is memories both simple and profound that have I learned.
stuck. Perhaps my favorite memory is of Seppi at Perhaps the greatest life’s lessons I learned from
his first ski race in Kelly Canyon, Idaho. He was ski racing is that fate is unpredictable and what
probably 8 and he wanted to compete like his big you do with what you are given is still the ultimate
sister. Seppi is a perfectionist and self-aware since test of mettle. Courage, determination, bravery,
birth and he didn’t want to race in a snowsuit. He spirit, nerve, pluck, guts, grit. Those are all syn-wanted a race suit. Small race suits were hard onyms for mettle, and I know it when I see it. This
to come by 15 years ago, and they were prohibi- month, my kids are both back in the groove train-tively expensive if you could find one. So I went ing for another ski season. As crazy as it sounds,
to a ski swap and bought a beat-up men’s race I can’t wait to be there for them.
suit. It was black with hot pink sidewalls. I tailored Carrie Stiegler
the suit down to a kid’s size six, which meant that Presque Isle, Wisc.
most of the child-size suit fit on the black fabric,
except for the right arm which flowed over onto Thanks, Bode
the pink fabric. When the miniature version was What Bode didn’t tell you was how even before
finished, the suit was all black with a flaming pink his awesome showing at the 2010 Olympics how
right arm. Six-year-old boys still think their moth- he made a commitment to ski with disabled veter-ers are wonderful no matter what we do. Seppi ans at the 2010 National Disabled Veterans Win-wore it with pride. I liked it because I could identify ter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Colorado in March
my own child from the gaggle. The pink arm func- 2010. He was selfless and dedicated to our nationed like a bullfighter’s cape in Pamplona. I al- tion’s heroes. So much so that he and other Olym-ways knew when Seppi was charging the course. pians and Paralympians stood for three hours that
Those were the days — so simple, so fun. evening signing autographs for our injured men
However, while the fun continued, the simple and women of the United States Military. He and
part became seriously complex. I never stopped Casey Puckett skied two sessions with our men
to consider that the kids would soon be traveling and women, even tethering and guiding the vet-around the world competing year-round in for- erans. Neither wanted any recognition and pretty
eign countries and requiring boatloads of money. much left the press behind to be with our veter-I didn’t comprehend that ski racers miss more ans... little known among ski world but greatly ap-school than they attend — or that the entire dis- preciated by our injured men and women!
posable income of two working parents and two SandyT17
sets of retired grandparents would be reconnoi- via Facebook
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Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Champion and Two-time World Cup Overall Winner
Go to http://www.usskiteam.com/