Cross Country Ski Team Begins Season Despite Lack of Snow

The first snowfall starts the beginning of the Dimond Cross Country Ski team. 

The 2019 ski season started on October 30, but without snow to ski on the kids were left to condition and do other things to prepare for skiing.

There are a lot of kids who take part in Cross Country skiing. 

Peter Hinds, a senior at Dimond, has been skiing since the age of seven.

Hinds said, “My parents took me on snow as soon as I could walk so it was a deep part of my childhood. The main push to start Nordic racing was quite frankly not being able to afford Alpine racing.”

There are some who have been doing the sport for a long time, while others who start their career upon entering high school 

Carli Walch, a junior at Dimond, is one of those people.

Walch said, “Well I started doing Junior Nordic when I was like eight and I only did it for less than a year and then I didn’t like it. In ninth grade, my friends Sophia and Maria they wanted me to do it but I said ‘No’, but then they forced me. 

“Well they didn’t force me, but they tried to convince me and I ended up doing it.”

Dimond math teacher and Cross Country Ski Coach Nate Normandin said, “I skied in high school and a bit in college. I skied in middle school too.”

Normandin has been coaching for 12 years.

There are different techniques that are used for skiing.

Normandin said, “If I simplified it very very simply one looks like running and one looks like ice skating with poles in your hands, but that’s not really what they are, but that’s kind of what they look like.”

Walch said, “I love skate, because I feel faster, but I also love classic, but if I had to choose one or the other I would have to choose skate, because I love the motion of it.”

Skiing is unique in its own way. 

Normandin said, “It’s a movement on icy, treacherous stuff. It’s a winter sport that is pretty unique in general, because it’s a cross country endurance sport that you can do outside on the snow. 

“There’s not many of those. Most of them are either downhill which isn’t really endurance or its sledding, or it’s ice skating. 

“Hockey can be kind of endurance ish if you are playing defence a lot, but at the same time it’s just like solely endurance, focused on strength and endurance and there they have sprints and stuff too, but that’s kind of what makes it more unique. 

Skiing is a way to have a good time and get outside. 

Normandin said, “It’s something to do in the winter. A lot of people don’t like winters in Alaska, because they basically sit inside all winter.

“Well go outside and do something! There are a lot of reasons to ski and it’s fun.”

Walch said, “I love skiing with my teammates and I just love the sport and I feel like I’m decent at skiing and I love being outside. ”

People ski for many different reasons. 

Normandin said, “I always like to see improvements so that’s the big thing with a lot of them. Improving, improving, improving!

“Making sure that they are getting better and feeling like they accomplished something through the year. There are some specific goals that some of the kids have for themselves and some of them would like to make the junior national ski team or some of them would like the team to do really well at state.

“Some of them would like to do a bunch of different things. So depending on who you talk to theres different goals.”

Walch said, “I would love to make it to state, but that’s going to be really hard.”

Things do not just happen though.

In order to reach a goal more effort needs to be put towards that.

Walch said, “I plan to achieve that goal by working my heart out one hundred percent.. Like my heart out and using good techniques. 

“Having my teammates to encourage me to go fast as well helps. I go to morning weights.

She said, “There’s morning weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and I try to go to all of them. I think it gives me extra strength and I could use that extra strength in skiing as well.”

Like all sports, there will be times when a person is met with hard times. 

Walch said, “My friends are always encouraging me to try my best even if I have a really hard day.”

Hinds said, “I would definine “hard time” in two ways. The first is not being able to train. 

“Injury and sickness is a part of every athlete’s life, but for me it is painful to miss a week or even a day of training. I feel as if my goals are slipping through my fingers.

Hinds said, “The remedy to this, of course, is more skiing. The second “hard time” would be defined during racing. All races are painful, some more than others.

“What keeps me going in the more brutal ones is knowing that whatever I feel in the moment is temporary and will not last. Going harder, will make me better off in the end so it’s one hundred percent worth it.“

Overall, skiing is a sport that anybody could do, whether it be for fun or competitively.

Walch said, “I would definitely encourage other people to ski cause it’s just a fun sport and you make so many friends in highschool doing sports as well.¨

Skiing is a sport that is open to anybody.

Itś a great way to stay active and have fun outside.

Walch said, “I love it.¨