News & Stories

Early Snow Excites Middle School Athletes

While many people around the state were cursing the early snow, outdoor enthusiasts across Loppet World were cheering, including the athletes on the Nellie Stone Johnson Ski & Bike Team. After practicing all fall in dryland-training activities like roller skiing, the athletes were ready to try out the snow.

They piled out of the van, got their equipment out and prepared it for good skiing under the direction of Coach Mom (aka Nancy Nelson) and Coach Jon. Quite a few of the kids knew how to apply the wax already and were instructing their teammates on how to do it. Others watched on as Coach Mom and Coach Jon showed them how best to apply the wax. It definitely was a process.

Executive Director John Munger and Loppet Advancement Director Kristen Spargo had a chance to stop by and check in with the kids and the coaches. So often the teams practice in different parts of the park or at the schools that seeing the group was a real treat. Kristen had fun sharing with Nayeli how much she enjoyed meeting the young girl’s mom at the Age Gap Relay at Loppet Games. Kristen noted that she speaks Spanish and loved dusting off her rusty second-language skills with Nayeli’s mom. Nayeli and her friend looked so surprised that Kristen started speaking in Spanish with the girls to cure their doubts that she could say more than Me llamo Kristen.

In addition to chatting with the kids, Kristen enjoyed watching the mass-waxing exercise.

“I was impressed by their patience with the waxing process and with how they were helping each other,” remarked Kristen. “As a relatively inexperienced skier…yes, we hire those at the Loppet…I hate waxing skis. I wish I could get some of the NSJ athletes to give me a few pointers!”

Once they had their skis ready, the kids had such a great time when they were out there practicing. They climbed the tubing hill really well and then had a blast flying down it. Here’s hoping for more snow so they can continue to hone their skiing skills on the trails of Theodore Wirth Park.

Coach Jon helping prep skis
Coach Mom helping
Getting ready to ski
Coach Mom in action
Excited to kick wax
Excited to ski
out on the snow
waxing in process
NSJ youth
Teammates helping each other
Coach Jon assessing the situation