A benefit from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Country Inn and Suites in Hastings will help raise funds to send Hastings’ champion skier to the 2010 Olympics.
By: Bonnie St. James, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Lindsay Williams is a great cook. The meal she served at the interview was roasted vegetables – two kinds of squash cut in 1-inch cubes, tossed with onions, apples, and some spices and roasted in the oven. There was also a pork tenderloin, done to perfection, on top of the vegetables; a salad with greens, peppers and tomatoes, with a light dressing, a colorful pasta dish and watermelon for dessert.
She’s also a great skier – an Olympic cross country ski racer on the U.S. Ski Team.
And she’s Hastings’ own. She joined the Hastings Nordic ski team while she was in high school, and fell in love with the sport. The team took first place in the conference in 2001, Linday’s junior year. Advancing to the state tournament that same year with teammates Brianna Spaeth and Katie Walker, Lindsay became state champion.
Lindsay earned a scholarship with her skiing to Northern Michigan University. During her college career, she also picked up a few more awards: World Junior Team member in 2002, 2003 and 2004; three-time Junior National Champion; four-time NCAA All-American in 2007; and US National Sprint Champion in 2005.
Lindsay was on the US Olympic Ski Team in 2006 … and she’s slated for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
“But there have been a few changes since the last Olympics,” Lindsay said. “Since I’m no longer on the college team, I don’t get financed. Expenses on the US Ski Team fall on the athlete.”
Expenses means about $13,550 for the rest of the year. The expenses are for airfare, food and lodging at the camps the team goes to for training. And training and traveling leave Lindsay with no time for a job.
Lindsay is not a pampered athlete. She wasn’t a pampered kid either. She learned to ski, in her little pink snowsuit, in her parents’ tracks.
She joined the ski team in seventh grade.
“My skis were from ‘Play It Again Sports.’” she said. “I put kick wax on the entire ski and tried to ‘skate,’ but the skis were too wide. So, I just did it (skiing) on my own.
She got better skis the next year. She did some racing in eighth grade just “to stay in shape. I enjoy the outdoors.”
In ninth grade, she was talked into doing the races.
“I tried a couple,” Lindsay said. “It was fun and I liked it. And I got faster.”
She can remember the moment she decided racing was for her.
“We were at a section meet, and I was watching from a snowbank. I saw the first-place girl (from Hastings) in a pursuit race.
“It was so beautiful and so powerful, I knew I wanted to race it, and win. I wanted to dedicate myself to doing it.”
And Lindsay did win it the next year, by four minutes. And the state championship came the following year.
Lindsay still sees her high school coaches, John Dewall and Rich Wheeler, when she’s in town.
A couple of surgeries this past year slowed her down a bit, but she’s back up to speed. She ready for Vancouver in February.
“I wasn’t on crutches long,” she said. “I’m too stubborn.”
She had surgery on her legs for compartment syndrome. The muscles in a person’s lower legs are surrounded by a sheath, and when there’s not enough room for the muscles in the sheath, pressure builds up.
“It’s like a sausage that’s too big for its casing,” Lindsay explained. “It’s alarmingly common.”
So the surgery split that casing open. She had another surgery to move the arteries behind her knees that were trapped in muscle tissue.
“I wanted both legs done at the same time, but the doctors wouldn’t let me,” Lindsay said. “And not being able to ski, being stuck on the coach, made me realize how much I want this, and how I need to make each day count.”
And Hastings can help her make each day count. The benefit from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Country Inn and Suites, sponsored by Suzi McNamara’s Blessings and Breathing Center, will have lots of silent auction items for people to bid on, including passes to Anytime Fitness; eight art prints from Midwest Imagery; Bluetooth technology;a one-night’s stay at Country Inn and Suites; gift certificates from Spiral Foods, RJ’s Tavern on Main, the Green Mill, and Tires Plus; gifts from 2nd Childhood; a quilt, a tarot session and healing energy work from the Blessings and Breathing Center; and more are being added daily.
There will also be Linwilli items for purchase (Linwilli is Lindsay’s nickname).
And Lindsay herself will cook for the event. Food available includes Lindsay’s healthy offerings of lentil soup, buffalo chili, turkey/apple wraps, humus platter, yogurt parfait, apple crisp, and pumpkin and banana muffins. She’s considering a cookbook, when she has the time.
Lindsay trains hard, has learned what foods are necessary for optimum health, and plans to help others someday as a sports trainer.
To follow Lindsay’s training progress, go to her website at www.linwilli.com. She even tells a few secrets about herself … like the fact that she has a phobia about having blood drawn.
Lindsay will be at the event, and is looking forward to seeing her friends.