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Athlete Profile: Raequan Wilson
Six hours later, a sweaty and exhausted Raequan walked into the office. He tossed off his helmet and headed straight for the couch where he plopped down and immediately sank into the cushions. I swiveled around in my office chair and exclaimed with astonishment, “You’ve been out there roller skiing for the past 6 hours!” He returned my surprise with a canny grim that seemed to understate his gargantuan feat of the day. Raequan had possibly just gone out for the longest roller ski Wirth Park had ever seen.
But the fact that Raequan had stayed out roller skiing the entire day did not surprise his coach John Swain. “In the winter, he would come out for Saturday morning practice, and stay all day… You couldn’t get him off his skis,” remarked Swain. Raequan had asked special permission from Swain to borrow roller skis for the day. He could not take them home, but they arranged to meet at Wirth in the morning so he could take them out for the day. Raequan arrived right when the office opened and, with his younger cousin on her bicycle in tow, the two of them disappeared in the park and didn’t return until the dinner hour.
As a soon to be eight grader, Raequan Wilson has participated on the Anwatin Ski Team for just under one year, and has taken to skiing, biking and roller skiing with interest and ease. Never having skied before, Raequan now ranks cross-country skiing as his favorite sport. If Raequan chooses to, he will have the opportunity take his middle school skills to the high school level. However, in contrast to the many skiers who learn how to ski through the high school programs, Raequan will have the benefit of having two years of skiing experience under his belt. “Unlike sports like soccer, there really aren’t a lot of kids going into 9th grade with real skiing skills. He could go into high school with a leg up on kids,” said Swain who has watched Raequan’s physical condition, mental drive and commitment to skiing build over the course of the year.
Despite his clam demeanor, Raequan is a fierce competitor. He competed throughout the year in various ski competitions and recently came in first place in the 13-14 age group at the Birch Bump, a Minnesota Mountain Bike Series race at Buck Hill. “I like competition,” Raequan said with a nonchalant shrug and a smile.
Back at the office, with his cousin lamenting, “I’m hungry” by his side, Raequan unlaced his ski boots and swapped them out for his street shoes. Reattaching his helmet, he grabbed his back-pack and headed for his door, his cousin already on her bike ready to go. “So what is it Raequan? What keeps you out there all day long?” I ventured after him as he got ready to hop on his swivel board to skate board home. He turned with a shrug, “It’s fun.” He paused then added with a smirk, “It’s funnnndamental.” Laughing, he jumped the curb and was off.