The Sheppard Family shows
off their NASTAR medals.
Tremblant and started making the 18-hour round trip every weekend. At this point, however, it was still a low-key family affair involving skiing with the kids, cruising the mountain and building skills.
An article he read on NASTAR in 2009 soon upped the ante.
“I thought that this was something we can do as a family,” says
Sheppard. “So we gave it a shot at an area in the Poconos, and
we loved it. Racing as a family, winning medals, and lowering your
handicap was just so exciting.”
The next season, the Sheppards went on a NASTAR binge. Every
weekend involved racing NASTAR on Friday evenings on the way
to Mont Tremblant, stopping Saturday morning on the way north at
another NASTAR area, and then arriving in Canada late on Saturday evening. Sundays involved training in the adult racing program
before tackling the long trip home.
It took one of the kids to realize that this routine didn’t make a lot
of sense. “After one weekend my son asked us why we couldn’t
move closer to a ski mountain,” says Sheppard. “We then started
looking at western ski areas, and Park City seemed to have everything we were looking for.”
So the Sheppard family moved to Park City. In no time, Sheppard’s
passion for ski racing was in danger of morphing into obsession.
“I skied every day, all day for two-and-a-half weeks at the start of
the season,” says Sheppard. “I’m training with the masters program every day, and I also discovered that I’m the current national
leader in NASTAR starts, which isn’t really a goal of mine anymore
STEPHAN SHEPPARD; MARCUS T. THOMAS; BRIAN ROBB
since I’ve discovered masters racing.”
Sheppard has cut back a bit, but the passion still burns. “I had
no idea that skiing would take over our world,” says Sheppard.
“But we’re loving it. It’s just so enjoyable that it doesn’t matter how
young or old you are, everyone is committed and passionate about
the sport, and they all love to go fast.”
Class 4, Far West
Nickolai Stoilov is new to masters racing in the Far West region, but
you might have the nagging feeling that you’ve seen him before.
Well, you just might have — in movies, TV shows or the theater.
Stoilov is a professional actor from Los Angeles and his career has
been on a fast track since he arrived from Bulgaria in 1994.
“I was an established actor in Bulgaria in both film and theater,”
says Stoilov. “But I moved on to London when I was accepted into
the Gilbert School of Acting.”
Stoilov acted in many productions in London, including his favorite,
“Hamlet,” which gave him the recognition needed to be recruited
into the prestigious acting studies program at Stanford University
in California. From there, it didn’t take long for Stoilov to hire an
agent and make the move to Los Angeles, where he started book-
ing roles. One of those roles was the lead in the film, “Lana’s Rain,”
which earned a 2005 TIMMY Award for Best Actor.
“This was the role that really got me recognized and led to a green
card and citizenship,” recalls Stoilov.