Monday, February 06, 2012
The new faces of Nordic Skiing: City of Lakes Loppet 2012
Saturday I was in the Metro area attending my monthly Torske Klubben meeting. I had a little time to kill so I decided to head to Theo Wirth and check out the nordic skiing festivities. I arrived in time to catch one of the kids races. I set up my camera on a hill and prepared to shoot some good kid skiing action shots. Usually the kid carnage on hills is well worth watching. However as the several hundred kids skied past I started to notice a significant theme.
Perhaps it is my lifetime of skiing and the realization that it is a very "nordic" sport and that when I see a person of color on skis I am interested and happy that they are there. It could also be that since I am an extremely proud father of an Asian skier I, I tend to take notice when I see other ethnic groups on the ski trails. But in any case I was deeply moved to not see one or two kids of other races but literally a hundred plus. I saw Somali skiers, Ethiopian skiers, Hmong skiers, Korean skiers, African American skiers, Latino skiers and on top of that a lot of female skiers.
It was truly moving and inspiring and I think that the City of Lakes Loppet Foundation deserves a ton of accolades for its mission in getting inner city skiers on the trails and opening up a great sport to all kids in the city. They are not just talking the talk, they are making it happen. It makes stories like Robel Teklemariam all that more relevent. I remember what a big deal folks thought it was when Phillip Boit skied the 98 Olympic games. The comments ranged from true hope to out right ignorance. However in seeing what the City of Lakes Loppet has spurred I feel nothing but enthusiastic for the idea of getting people of all colors on the ski trail in the future....including my son.