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Hero worship in skiing

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Like every sportsman, I have my heroes.

But sometimes I wonder if admiring great skiers and the sometimes reckless behaviour they exhibit is good for the sport?

The same can be said for iconic instructors, does the hype and rigid methodology limit the freedom and self discovery in skiing that is so enjoyable?

I've gotten to the point where I really enjoy skiing with acquaintances, friends and family and I'm not impressed anymore by the hype that goes with our skiing idols.

post #2 of 14
Its funny, as we age, our definitions can change.

My skiing heros now a days is the likes of a "Craig & Vicki" from the Mad River Barn. A couple of free spirits that live to ski.
post #3 of 14
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
I've gotten to the point where I...

it may be a youth thing? not to step on anyone's toes but when i was in my teens and even early-20's, i had sports-related "heroes," who, you know, went big in different ways.

then you outgrow them.

having picked up skiing in my mid-30's...i hear the names of Big Mountain skiers and have no idea who they are. but if i'd been (damn lucky enough to have been) raised in/near the mountains and grown up skiing, i have no doubt i'd've been looking to the skiers who were pushing the envelope.

'cause it's there.
post #4 of 14
Other than Stein I never had a ski hero that I didn't know personally. I would try to emulate the great skiers I met (I still do) but the folks I didn't know didn't seem real to me.
post #5 of 14
Maybe you need new heroes. There are always a few people out there that help me to define quality skiing and inspire me to get better (for my values of better). They don't exhibit reckless behavio(u)r, I think of it as more challenging, but one person's take on recklessness may well be another's definition of challenging.
post #6 of 14
Meh. I don't do the whole couch potato root for Willy Mays thing. I don't watch football or baseball because they are spectator sports, and I'm a doer. I don't watch skiing because really isn't a spectator sport.

So, no. No heroes for me.

If you want me I'll be in the bar.
post #7 of 14
I don't get this whole hero worship thing.:

I will admit in the late 1970s I thought Ken Read and Steve Podborski were pretty good skiers and I did enjoy watching them win races, and allowed their skiing to influence my own, but I never worshiped any man or woman.

Maybe it's because I'm Canadian.:
post #8 of 14
I have skiing heroes, many of them.

My heroes are people whose skills or attitude or love of skiing (sometimes all of the above) just epitomize aspects of what the sport means to me. Some are famous skiers I've admired from afar - others are people I've skied with and learned from directly. Some are racers, some are free-skiers, some are ski mountaineers, some are guides, some are patrollers, some are instructors. Some are very well known and others aren't at all, but they've all helped me see (and sometimes even experience) what's possible on a pair of skis.

My all-time ski hero hasn't changed in over 30 years. Pepi Stiegler was a world and Olympic ski racing champion, an aerialist and gelande champion, a pioneering ski mountaineer, and the first ski school director at Jackson Hole. He's been my boss, my mentor, my backcountry ski partner, and my friend. In his prime, nobody combined grace and power on skis as well as he did. He still hikes alone thousands of feet up major peaks in the Tetons and skis flawlessly down through any conditions he finds. He's a gentleman and he's contributed greatly to this sport.

I have no problem at all calling that a hero.
post #9 of 14
My Hero...........Bob Peters!
post #10 of 14
Like Posuane, my childhood "hero" is/was Stein. Always a gentleman and reading his books the emphasis on winning was not for contracts and money ... but for "The Glory of Norway".

People who do well in sports are not heroes and I am still amazed how that term can possibly even apply.

There are some I admire deeply however.
post #11 of 14
My skiing hero would be the the guy who skis backcountry most of the time but has a five mountain pass for resort days. Spends about 130 days a year making turns, drives a rusty Toyota 4 wheel drive and his faithful dog waits for him to get done. Doesn't need to make $4000 a month just to break even with the monthly bills, doesn't look for a woman but if she happens, so be it. Has a couple pairs of fat boards and hopes the base and edges hold out another year, got a pair of poles that he doesn't have to worry about getting stolen. Roll of duct tape under the seat if he needs to repair his outerwear. Makes enough money at the night job to keep him and his dog in food and a decent place to call his own, warm and dry,clean once in a while( needs a girlfriend for that)
post #12 of 14
I can barely bring myself to leaf through Powder at the newsstand because it's basically turned into Teen Beat Skiing.

I liked Trevor Peterson and still think Jeremy Nobis rocks, but the sponsored athlete hero worship has gotten kinda ridiculous.
post #13 of 14
I have several silver screen heros as well as hero's I know.

In the ski porn:
Seth Morrison (kills it everywhere)
Hugo Harrison
Shane Mcconkey (makes it look FUN)
Jeremy Nobis

In real life:

RJ Nichoalds - My ski instructor from last year, always skied amazingly and made it look really really good. Best skier I knew.

Stan Aunan - Awesome skier that I got the pleasure of skiing with and working with this year. Chasing him around the mountains made me a much better skier.
post #14 of 14
Dolores LaChappelle, who died in January, wasn't the first person to write about the joy of skiing, but she celebrated deep powder more eloquently than anyone else I can think of. I don't know if I'd call her a hero, but she was a pretty good example of someone who followed their bliss.
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