With the Super Tour in our neighborhood last week we got to see some fast skiing! Craftsbury Outdoor Center hosted the tour finals and closed out the week with a Fast & Female Clinic on Sunday.
Several girls in our Mansfield Nordic Club attended Fast and Female and raved about it (see their comments below).
But some other interactions with the USA and Canadian women gave insight to their class, beyond their fast skiing. At end of the hill climb Wednesday, Jessie & Chandra crossed the line, collapsed and received assistance getting back on their feet; moments later, they handed their bibs to the young skiers collecting them, then paused to talk to the kids, ask about their skiing and thanked them for being there to help.
During the 30k the women’s field hammered for 20 laps on the tough course; I was impressed with the way the lead skiers worked their way through the lapped skiers with courtesy and respect.
At the end of the race, after a full season and a full week of exhausting competition, Kikkan, Jessie, Ida, Susan, Rebecca, Sadie, Holly and others chatted with our girls, asked about their skiing, posed for photos, signed autographs and took a real interest in these middle school kids who skipped school to watch them race.
The Fast & Female clinic was a blast for our girls. At a time when world-class athletes can seem aloof and surly, the top USA & Canadian women were gracious, kind, encouraging and inspirational! Check out these quotes from the girls in our club…
Fast and Female was so awesome! It was amazing meeting everyone — especially the world cuppers! They are all so funny and SUPER NICE! I think my favorite part was just seeing all of the great skiers in person. I don’t exactly have a favorite skier. I think it was either Liz or Jessie. I was in awe of Kikkan. Her crystal globe was so cool.
Most people think of the famous athletes as celebrities, people they would never get to meet. This isn’t always true. Last Sunday I went to Fast and Female, an organization that lets kids meet people like Kikkan Randall and Chandra Crawford.
Fast and Female was really fun! First was the free Buff, which is decorated with pink and purple squares and had the Fast and Female logo in the center. After getting all of our ski clothing on, (putting on boots standing up is actually really hard) we separated into groups and did some cool activities. My favorite was when we got as much speed as we could on a hill and a person with a speed gun told us how fast we had gone. My highest score was 22mph.
After skiing we went and had lunch at the dining hall. The food was awesome. Then we rushed back to the big tent for some dancing. I really liked how Fast and Female wasn’t just skiing, and that we got to do other stuff too. The dance teacher taught us some pretty cool moves, and we danced away for awhile.
At the end we all sat down in the tent and the ambassadors told us their stories. (The ambassadors were the skiers.)
Kikkan Randall had a cool story of how she had wanted to be in the Olympics since she was a kid.
Chandra Crawford told us about how she always stayed on the optimistic side of things, and that we should stay on the positive side too. Then we got to have them sign our things.
My favorite ambassador was probably Jessie Diggins. She was totally upbeat and happy, and was always smiling. Also, she’s only nineteen, which shows that she worked really hard to be the amazing skier she is today.
When everyone was done with the autographs, we filled out a survey on how we liked Fast and Female. I wrote that I really liked it, and that it was super cool that we got to meet all those famous people.
If I can, I would love to go back next year.
It was fun. Liz let me in. I was too young. She was so nice. We did tag fox[e]s and then biathlon with Susan. We did downhill on one ski, racing down a hill with Sadie, and an obstacle course with Ida. We got to see Kikkan’s crystal globe and Chandra’s gold medal. We got posters with their names on it. It was a good day.
I had such an amazing experience at Fast and Female!! Getting to meet the older skiers and having them play with us the whole time was so cool. I even got to wear an Olympic gold medal won by Chandra Crawford. They were all enthusiastic and made the day all the better.
For skiing we stopped at different stations and did all types of fun stuff from obstacle courses to measuring our speed with a speed gun. My record was 22 mph! After that we danced in the big tent and learned some interesting new dance moves! The instructor kept the spirit lively and energetic and I loved doing that. This was a great experience and I can not wait till next year. Go spunky salmon skiers!!!
Some things that I liked about Fast and Female was getting to do ski activities with the Wold Cup level athletes. I especially liked the activity where we went down the hill as fast as we could go and they would measure our speed with a radar gun. Two of my favorite athletes were Kikkan Randell, who keeps chasing her goals, and Chandra Crawford, who won the Olympic Gold, which was quite inspiring for me. All in all it was a fun filled day!