Here we go! If you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution, or even if you are not, I have a strong suggestion. But first, some background. If you are reading this blog, you know that it is 100 percent free to you. Other than the cost of your time to read it, you’re not paying a dime. As you might guess, I’m not making a dime off it either. That is my choice because talking about ski racing and to the people who love ski racing makes me happy and fires me up.
I do get paid to write about skiing and ski racing by two great publications, and this is my plea that you start this year by honoring the sport and subscribing to them.
The two publications that regularly assign and pay writers to write articles about the sports past and future are Ski Racing and Skiing History. In just the past year, assignments from Skiing History offered me the privilege of writing stories on:
Michel Rudigoz, the US Ski Team’s Minister of Culture, who shared his insights on, among other things, the making of the most successful US Women’s Team of all time (still the only US Ski Team to win a Nation’s Cup).
Jeff Hastings, the ski jumper who helped vault the terminally underfunded US Jumping Team to international prominence, still holds the best Olympic jumping result for the US, and continues to aggressively and creatively champion the sport at its grass roots.
And, coming up in the next issue…Junior Bounous, the 93 year old legendary powder skier, gelande jumper and (most of all) instructor, who took himself off the Snowbird payroll at age 90, but still rips down Regulator and prefers to talk on the lift vs stand around on the hill.
In each case these are fascinating people who gave—and are still giving—so much to the sport, and in each case you have to subscribe to read about them. In other words, these stories that deserve to be told and preserved, would not have happened without a paid assignment. Ya dig?
It’s just my opinion, but I think every condo, ski cabin, shmancy ski mansion and slopeside hotel room ought to have a copy of Skiing History on the coffee table, as a way of educating current skiers and welcoming and new skiers to the tribe.
As for Ski Racing, that one is pretty straightforward: If you want to read about this niche sport in anything other than a press release, you should subscribe. No subscribers = no objective coverage. Full stop.
Ski Racing delves beyond the press conferences and wire stories to bring profiles, stories and opinions that stir debate and drive change. They encourage writers to take on prickly issues like US Ski Team Development and mental health; to shed light on things like the rise of college racers and of new ways to pursue education and ski racing; and to put the sport’s evolution into historical context. These are all things that would not have a chance of hitting mainstream media, yet are critical to our sport’s progress.
So that’s my plea. Each subscription sets you back about $35/year and goes a long way to ensure the enduring legacy of the sport we love. To all of you who already subscribe, thank you for your support. It matters very much. To everyone, thanks for reading and Happy New Year!