While the date may have been pushed out a week and snow conditions on the mountain thin, the sun and spirits of athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents were high, which made the Warm-up Slalom a great success. Being a parent spectator, it was impossible to tell those new to racing and those with a few seasons under their race-suits as all the athletes had jitters at the starting gate - a condition a few gummy bears doled out by coaches and parents instantly cured. In good form, the racers cheered on their team mates regardless of their age bracket, gender or varied ability; veteran parents helped the rookie parents find a good place to watch their racer, give a tip about lunch or info on course inspection protocol.
Once the courses were set and inspected, the race was on. The kids did a fantastic job showing off their skills in-spite of the conditions; the parents, most of whom were as nervous as their racer, did their best cheering, waving and cow-bell jingling. At the finish, most athletes had smiles, a few had tears but all had a chance to run the course and get the race season (finally) underway! The volunteers were expert and the coaches prepared, all of which made for a flawless first race. Thank-you all!
For a sport that has both team and individual dynamics, this group of U8, U10 and U12 families and coaches should be lauded for the time and support they dedicate to making all of our kids successful athletes. I was proud to watch our kids respect and appreciate fair-play and teamwork regardless of adversity- whether it was perhaps a fall, missed gate or a team-mate edging out another by hundredths of a second- most of the racers and parents congratulated the others with kind words and encouragement.
Finally, following a weekend full of racing, after the gates were taken down and the timing equipment put away, we reached the awards ceremony Sunday afternoon exhausted, excited and very proud. The athletes received their medals heroically and, most importantly, graciously. We owe another nod to all coaches, volunteers, sponsors and parents for a fun race, great kids and a strong club. Thank you CMAC!