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Watching World Cup skiers run SL and GS in 30 seconds is a real blast.

The ski season wrapped up in Western New York this past weekend with the annual "Ford Slush Cup"

I was out with my son and some friends at the races all weekend. I came away with some great images of proper technique, a wicked sunburn, and great respect for our US Ski Team athletes.

First thing in the morning, I was at the Nordica tent admiring next year's skis. There was a guy standing next to me putting on his boots (heavily ground dobies). In response to a question about the new WC plate on the skis, the rep turns to the guy putting on his boots and says, "Eric, what do you think of the plate?" The guy stands and answers, "Love it." I then realize that I had been standing next to Eric Schlopy.

The skiing was your typical "here's how to do it right" display. The Slalom was incredible with Ligety displaying his amazing technique and his 'mom and dad' sticker. My impressions were more those of a spectator because I am a terrible slalom skier and these guys are the best in the US and top 30 on planet earth.

The GS was another story. They were at my home hill and I am an OK GS skier. I watched from the hill and watched guys rocket by linking arcs like they were on slalom skis on a blue run. Ligety came down and looked really smooth. I couldn't hear a time but I knew it was fast. Schlopy was next and he made turns that I never realized were possible. After the course hold to find and repair 3 gates, the race continued with more sub-30 point skiers.

Things really hit home in the afternoon. I was on the deck watching race 2 and I was able to hear the times and look at the board from race 1. Schlopy came down in 29.61 seconds. "29?!?!" I asked a friend of mine. "Yep." came the reply. "HOLY XXXX!" Now I can run this hill in 35 to 36 depending on the set. The Masters guys ran this year in the 34s and another adult race had the winner in the 33s. Impressive! How they find 4 more seconds is just incredible.

The thing that impressed me most was how aproachable the USST athletes were. -- Best in the World -- !

That's it for the ski season .