broadcast your runs all over the planet. On You-Tube, I saw a run filmed by a helmet cam and
skied by a U.S. Ski Team member. Interesting,
but nothing I haven’t done a thousand times. I
would have fined the guy for risking hundreds of
thousands of dollars in training investment.
Professional sports, including ski racing, exist to sell products. A few of the athletes excel
and prosper financially. The others may achieve
some notoriety and satisfaction with their effort.
It’s something to do with your life, for a while.
got a lift to the top
from training at tiny
Ski Racing vs. Freeskiing
Your article on small mountains and big mountains illustrates the ongoing misconception held
by many of ski racing’s gurus. They fail to realize that ski racing and freeskiing are two different
sports. I teach the latter. I occasionally do the former. The skill sets, and the purpose, are different. Racing is about gaining and maintaining the
maximum possible speed. Freeskiing is about
enjoying the moment on a constantly changing
surface called snow. The surface in racing is artificial; it does not exist in nature.
It is no accident that places like Buck Hill pro-
duce excellent ski racers. There is only one thing
to do there, and that is race. And some of the
kids thrive on it. That is no different from kids who
love to wrestle, or run hurdles, or play football or
swim a 100-meter butterfly. What is “freeswim-
ming” or “freefootball?”
The main advantage of big mountains is their
ability to conduct a longer race. Therefore, the
kids from small areas can get a taste of big-time
racing. In camps, they can also meet their com-
petition and see how they size up.
Lindsey Vonn, and many other great racers,
got their fundamentals and passion at Buck Hill.
Ingemar Stenmark and Anja Paerson started in
Tarnaby, Sweden. Tarnaby has a little over 1,000
Until fairly recently, no one got paid to “freeski.”
They didn’t hand out trophies or ski contracts, or
Should Masters and NASTAR Hook Up?
Just a few things on several of the articles in the
issue. I’m an old ski racer and coach so I’ve ex-
perienced first hand a lot of issues discussed in
the Feb. 13 issue of Ski Racing .
As far as the SkillsQuest goes, if ski areas would
set up parks that include training features for al-
pine racing skills development, that would be
great. By and large, good luck with that. Bill Mc-
Collom correctly stated that the SkillsQuest type
of thing is not a new thing. In the 60s, at Pico,
they tried the skills training and testing, replete
with three levels of achievement and medals to
go along with it. We were doing the fundamen-
tals anyway, but it was the testing that made me
kind of angry and rebellious, and I was only 10
or 12 years old.