Cross Country Skiing Olympic Valley, Squaw Valley, California
Never will I be in the Winter Olympics for any sport, I am past the prime age for competing in anything except for maybe curling. Instead now I will wonder in amazement at the athletic abilities that many of the Olympic athletes have been given and take photographs of future generations of Olympic athletes as they practice their sport.
A recent trip with work to me to the site of the 1960 Olympics, held in Squaw Valley, California. I had never realized how close the Olympics had been to California’s, Central Valley. I’m certain that times were very different during the 1960 Olympics, much more simple and much more focused on the abilities of the Olympic athlete. I’m certain that there were the ski’s that were leading edge and different sports have been added such as snow boarding which would have only been a dream at that point. The idea of the Olympics though hasn’t really changed in my opinion, bring the world together to celebrate the best of the best athletes and give them the opportunity to prove who is really the best.
So in the spirit of the Olympics I decided that I had to at least try one of the sports that I find most amazing. Cross country skiing is one of the sports that has always intrigued me, sure there is luge and bobsled and there have been many wonderful showing of sportsmanship in those events but one of the events that takes an amazing amount of athletic ability and endurance is the biathlon and cross country skiing. While both envolve basically the same ski’s they are amazing for the endurance and dynamic ability that an athlete must posses to compete in them. While flying across a long distance as in the ski jump, skating on ice can draw quite a crowd the athletes that train their entire lives for every sporting event should be recognized is the same reverence.
I arrived at the Nordic rental just one hour before closing so I had to make a quick decision on what I was going to do; cross country ski or snow shoe. Either way I wouldn’t be flying across the snow, I wanted to get out take a couple of images of the Olympic Valley and the beauty that there was there. I quickly decided that I was going to try cross country, paid a half half day rate, very well worth it for me as I figured that it may very well be my only chance to try cross country. I was given boots and ski’s that were somewhat small for my size as it was my first time trying and a pretty conditioned coarse, no new snow. I put them on skied out to the machine maintained trail and started down my first hill. At very worst I was going to have to climb back up an icy steep slope to turn my ski’s back in at the Nordic Hut.
Through the rest of the experience I learned that cross country was something that I would like to do more of, but also that it uses muscles that I didn’t even know that I had. I am probably romanticising the experiance somewhat but I can’t imagine the things that I could see with a pair of cross country ski’s and photograph with even just a simple camera. There is still so much in this world to explore, every adventure a way to meet God and bring the beauty of his creation back for others to experience.
Below are some images of the images that I capture while out on the track, yes I wore jeans and yes I did fall a couple of times but it was totally worth the experience.