Last night I attended the Boston Ski and Snowboard Ball. It’s a USSA fund-raiser for the U.S. Ski Team.
Andy Newell and Kris Freeman were there. I chatted with them briefly along with Luke Bodensteiner (former Nordic Director at USSA and now moved up to a higher position). There were a bunch of Olympic athletes there from Freestyle and Snowboarding as well as Lindsey Vonn who is 2 time overall World Cup champ in Alpine. All the athletes were introduced and brought up on stage. (Lindsey towered over Newell and Freeman! She is a tall woman with the looks of a super model).
Lindsey and another gal, who I believe had a gold medal in either snowboarding or freestyle, gave short pep talks to the crowd thanking us for our support and asking for more. Then they showed a 4 minute video, “Vancouver Bound” which had a 2 second shot of Kikkan Randall and a 2 second shot of Billy DeMong (Nordic Combined). If you blinked then you missed the Nordic part.
There was a live auction with people buying things like $10,000 ski weeks at Vail. Not the ski crowd I’m used to hanging around with.
The finale of the night was a jumping demo on two trampolines set up in the room (it had a 2+ story high ceiling). I have to admit I was blown away by the athleticism of the snowboarders and freestylers who did spins, tricks, and triple flips while wearing skis or snowboards. Yow. Newell had to be restrained to keep from getting up there to show that he could do the same moves wearing XC boards.
The USST Nordic athletes start their final dryland camp today in Lake Placid.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.