Saturday, March 14, 2009
NCAA Noric Ski Championship
We have been firmly under the weather with a nasty cold all week, but this morning Charlie rallied enough to ask me to go watch the Men's Freestyle race in the NCAA Skiing Championships being held just down the road at Black Mountain of Maine.
The best nordic skiers from colleges stretching from the University of Alaska at Anchorage to Bates College in Lewiston Maine flew up and over the hilly course for 20 kilometers. It was a perfect winter day. The sky was clear and that pure blue that we get in the winter when a high pressure system is sitting right on top of us--the temperature on the mountain was just at freezing--comfortable for spectators. We were able to position ourselves at a few different points in order to see the skiers several times as they looped over the course.
Black Mountain of Maine was developed thanks to the efforts of former Olympian Chummy Broomhall who, along with other members of the 1952 U.S. Nordic team, was present and cheering on the racers.
Another olympian and favorite daughter of Maine was skiing around and watching the racers. Joan Benoit Samuelson is probably my favorite famous Mainer. Sadly, several years ago a woman that I was watching a high school race with was quite rude to the great marathoner. That was the end of me ever standing near that particular woman again and it caused me to, very uncharacteristically, speak sharply in reprimand. I've always been embarrassed when I've seen Joan wondering if she remembered and associated me with that moment. Truthfully, she probably didn't even notice, but it still rankles with me.
As we were leaving, Charlie ran into his coach from when he was on the Bates Nordic Team in the early 1970's. Charlie has such great memories of those days, I love to hear his stories about the ski races and I love the fact that nordic skiers can still enjoy their sport 40 years later.
A good day.