Thank You and BETRAYAL?

Thank you for all of your kind words for me. I appreciate and love you and I know you are supporting me.

I somewhat reluctantly went to the NYSSRA Championship Relays on Sunday and I had a great time. That is weird part about the issues I am having, I knew I would have a great time doing what I love to do, but something was tugging at me, convincing me not to even try. It is hard, it’s like being both rational and uncontrollably irrational at the same time, yet you rationally know you when you are being irrational but you can’t stop being irrational and the rational you is overwhelmed. Anyway, I am getting treatment and I am getting better, it’s a day-to-day thing. Thanks again for your support.

What I did see on Sunday was that the camaraderie of the New York Nordic Ski community, especially my Peru Nordic comrades, is something really special, and unfortunately unique. Thank you to all who came to race at GORE on Sunday. When I was there I saw a group of people that really LOVE skiing AND ski RACING… What I feel is that this is basically a group of people that is getting left behind.

I feel betrayed. I feel betrayed by Van Ho and USSA.

Does anyone else feel BETRAYED by Mt Van Ho? I hate to say it. It is my all-time favorite place to be, but right now, it’s the last place I want to go. I don’t feel betrayed by the groomers or the day-to-day staff. I feel betrayed by ORDA and those who are supposed to be on our side when it comes to supporting Nordic Skiing at all levels.

Do I feel betrayed because they cancelled the Executive Disorder gig at the last minute… Yeah, Probably. That sucked… we only had that date booked for 2 months.

Do I feel betrayed because they “postponed” the loppet in an effort to save certain trails for the Junior Nationals… maybe. Even though the conditions were not ideal and the forecast was iffy, they could have held the Loppet. I don’t really fault them for postponing, but it seems transparent that they only did it to “save” the homologated loops for the JNs… the skiers that really matter.

Do I feel betrayed because they moved the NYSSRA Championships to save certain trails… again, yeah. This was definitely an effort on Van Ho’s part to “save” the homologated loops for JNs. The NYSSRA champs were scheduled on non-competition days and we could have even had our events on the courses they were saving. I mean, NYSSRA pays the fees to host races at Van Ho, it’s not like Van Ho gives it away for free. Instead they just said “you’re not welcome here, because you’re not good enough, maybe Gore will host you.” At least, that’s how it feels.

Now, I know in hindsight, the conditions at Van Ho would have made all of the above difficult anyway. And the block of ice that is the Homologated trails is unusable. However, when these events were postponed and moved that was not the case. Van Ho was dealt the perfect storm of shitty conditions, and had to use what was probably plan “C” and go to the jumps.

However, that unfortunate weather doesn’t take away the bad taste of betrayal.

It is clear that the message is… unless you are affiliated with USSA, you don’t count.

I know that NYSSRA has battled this for years. I was president of NYSSRA and had served on the executive board for years. We embraced the idea of getting local clubs to get as many people as possible excited about ski racing. Our club, Peru Nordic, was built on this ideal. We have always been about “adults can play, too” and it doesn’t have to “be about the children” in order to have merit. Peru Nordic gets it. HURT gets it. Saratoga Biathlon gets it. ADK Vauhti/Glenville Hills gets it. Most of the clubs get it. NYSSRA gets it. They just support racing… at all levels. USSA and NYSEF don’t get it. They seem to be about “elites only!” And that sucks.

I feel like the U$$A is basically just a money grabbing organization, sucking money from potential elite skiers and couldn’t give a shit about Masters and non-elite nordic skiing. To me this seems like a stupid plan because a) masters have the income to buy skiing shit and b) masters that love skiing will probably take their kids skiing. and c) how else does anyone learn to love ski racing except by experiencing racing and enjoying themselves. NYSSRA ski clubs have been great at this grass roots effort, but USSA offers no support. Van Ho even used to have Sunday races that were just “fun runs” and were light-hearted and fun-spirited… I mean look at the USSA Harry Eldridge Races. They were burdened by high fees and formats that are only conducive to elite junior and senior racers (and the occasional Jacked up old man!)

The reality is that there are NOT a lot of us nordic skiers, and even fewer who want to RACE. Pushing us non-elite, masters and ski racing enthusiasts to the side because we are not good enough is detrimental to the sport.

On the bright side, maybe climate change has made all of this irrelevant.

Thank you for reading.

Jim.

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One thought on “Thank You and BETRAYAL?”

  1. Jim:

    Us even older guys have been battling this for over 40 years. When I decided to leave the ‘burbs and head back to my roots in the dacks I was drawn to the LP area by two things; the APA preserving green space and the ski tracks at the Ho.
    When I started skiing there the director didn’t want to put in a classic track because he said the tourists wouldn’t want one and it would be bad for business.
    I think that instead of being depressed-at least not letting them see us being that way- we should get a big group of us together and get them going on real snowmaking. Look at the track they put in at the jumps for the kids in less than a week. They have to bury water lines around the homologated course and get some equipment not the micky mouse thing they rented.
    Maybe the new ORDA head guy will be amenable to spending some money on us.

    You aren’t the only one who is depressed,
    Cheers,
    David

    (certain comments expurgated to save my soul)

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