Ted Ligety signs autographs.
Debbie Butts from Wachusett Mountain in
Massachusetts came out to Nationals simply
because she qualified and NASTAR invited her.
Competing in the gold 60 to 64 gold class, she said
she likes NASTAR for “the camaraderie, positive
atmosphere, fun of racing, and crazy GS suits.”
Mike Laneer, a transplant Coloradan who used to ski in my Hidden
Valley New Jersey race league, raced his first Nationals in the 50
to 54 gold class. His favorite thing about NASTAR, he said, is the
handicap system, where racers can compare themselves against
world-class pacesetters at the same time as peers of similar
age and ability. I asked him about his vintage Captain American
helmet. “I have a suit with stars and flags on it and none of my
helmets matched,” said Laneer. “I figured if I was going to wear
this outrageous suit, I would to go all out.”