Grand Nordic Corner: It takes a team to make Nordic skiing a sport |

Grand Nordic Corner: It takes a team to make Nordic skiing a sport

Diana Lynn Rau

Races, particularly State Championships, are always a challenge. You work and train and compete all winter and it comes down to the final show. What’s the temperature? Are my skis waxed right? Do I have a plan – go out slower and come in with a roar? Do I have the right clothes on? Did I eat an appropriate breakfast? Is my mind in the right place? How do I feel? Have I trained hard enough? Do I remember what the coaches said? So many things to think of. But the most important is – am I ready to do my best?

Your attitude and the attitude of the people around you is so important to prepare for that “best performance.” When people are relaxed, supportive and encouraging, athletes do better. Some have abilities that they are blessed with. Some athletes have to work harder than others. Every community sees that standout like Ty Scholl, but behind that individual is a team, a team of supporters – sometimes parents and teachers and just friends, sometimes fellow athletes or just a training buddy. That kind of teamwork is often learned in family upbringing or on middle school or high school teams. And it is a huge factor in the success of any athlete. Ty would be the first to tell you the importance of that support. The whole team counts as much as that star player and each supports the other.

Not just kids but all people who aspire to achieve a goal need some type of help to pursue their dreams. It might be money for training or equipment or travel, it might be encouragement to work through training flatspots or parts of their requirements to compete that don’t come easily, it might be as simple as having an idol.

Never doubt the importance of that teamwork. All individual sports have some kind of dependence on others, whether it’s the caddy for the golfer, the trainer or physical therapist or feed person for the Nordic skier or cross country runner, or the pack leader who pulls the peloton in a bike race. The resort staff, coaches and parent helpers are a big part of that team. The organizations who help fund the various programs are another part. And the family and friends who schlep the athletes around or feed them or carry their equipment are the unsung heroes.

Working together only leads to better results. Committees bring together many types of experiences and ideas and usually far outweigh the input of one individual. The power of combined forces is usually far more effective than an individual effort.

33rd Annual Snow Mountain Stampede

This weekend for the first time, Snow Mountain Ranch and Granby Ranch are together putting on the only opportunity in the US to be able to ski point to point and do either 50K Skate Race Saturday and 50K Classic Sunday or do both days. You can do 25K or 10K instead. For the first time, you can just tour the course untimed but benefit from aid station support and expert grooming. The course is phenomenal if the wind and temperature don’t spoil the grooming. Nothing can detract from the scenery…

The whole family can get involved – there is a 2K Kids race both days before the big guys get going. Some lucky kid is going to win a great big stuffed dog. Shuttles will leave from the Montana lot Granby Ranch to take you to Snow Mountain Ranch so your car will be at the finish line when it’s time to enjoy the included barbecue after your race is over and you have survived.

Be a part of history – this is the first time for this joint event. Visit and click on Nordic and events to get the full scoop and to register.

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