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Skiers say the funniest things

Skiers like to weave tales almost as much as they enjoy connecting turns. Après ski is all about augmenting your alpine accomplishments. Skiers come up with astronomical vertical stats. Boarders tend to brag about all the air they bagged. It’s part of the cold weather sport, promoting how “chill” you are. Here are some notable names caught saying some interesting things about the sport of skiing.

I will start with my favorite line from extreme ski film icon Scot Schmidt during the litigious 1980’s. “People who sue ski areas should be shot,” said Schmidt, who starred in “The Blizzard of Ahhhs,” one of 11 ski movies produced by Maine’s Greg Stump.

Glen Plake humbly stated, “I am a skier, that’s all I am.” Easy for him to say with his iconic Mohawk, his fashion-model wife, and his two world champion Hot Dogger titles. Plake said, “Being dropped off at age 5 for the entire day at a ski area, I immediately loved everything about skiing, maybe being totally unsupervised had a part in that.”

Bode Miller also credits his love of skiing to being five years old and free to ski at Cannon. I could easily fill an entire column of Bode-isms, like “If you ever tried to ski when you’re wasted, it’s not easy,” Miller told “60 Minutes.”

Miller took the opportunity at BodeFest 2007 at Bretton Woods, NH, to say that he won't be going back the Olympics, even if he is still racing World Cup in 2010. Miller said he had a "terrible" experience at the 2006 Games (although it looked like he was having lots of fun to the casual observer). "Everybody parties,” Miller quipped. Upon leaving the U.S. Ski Team last spring, he said, “There's too much emphasis on winning."

Since then, Miller has put less emphasis on partying by quitting drinking, and forming his own ski team. “Team America” is Bode’s entourage, traveling the World Cup circuit in two buses with several coaches including his CVA classmate Forest Carey and his longtime friend/cook and RV driver Jake Serino. Bode just won his first World Cup as captain of Team America, a downhill in Italy last weekend.

Shaun White, the Flying Tomato who took Gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics said of his winning halfpipe performance, “Some of the spins, I close my eyes. People trip out when I say that."

Jeremy Bloom oozes talent, the University of Colorado football star became an NFL wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, and skied as a US Ski team mogul champion. Bloom said, “The day I quit skiing is the day I am not having fun.” Must be nice to be so diversely skilled that he can keep his options open based on “fun.” Bloom is not just a gifted athlete, he’s also a model for Tommy Hilfiger, and was deemed by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people.

Billy Kidd, former Olympic ski racer, is to skiing in cowboy hats as Glen Plake is to skiing with a Mohawk. Billy Kidd is the director of skiing at Steamboat Colorado, having grown up skiing at Stowe, Vermont. "Growing up in Vermont with the name Billy Kidd, I had to wear a cowboy hat," he says. Kidd skis in his ten-gallon lid everyday on the sunny slopes of Steamboat.

Klaus Obermeyer, who still skis at 87 said, "You start limping as you get older, but when you're on skis, no one can tell."

German-born Obermeyer lives in Aspen, Colorado, where his world-renown ski apparel company, Sport Obermeyer, is celebrating 60 years of innovation. Klaus Obermeyer patented the first plastic ski boot, the first down parkas, mirrored sunglasses, the ski turtleneck, and the first high-altitude sunscreen, saying “it was easy to invent things for skiing - since very little existed at the time.”

Columnist and personal hero of mine Dave Berry has plenty of humorous things to say about the sport, including, “Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.”

On the topic of snowboarding, Berry said, “Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough. I now realize that the small hills you see on ski slopes are formed around the bodies of forty-seven-year-olds who tried to learn snowboarding.”

Comedienne Erma Bombeck said about skiing, “I do not participate in any sport with ambulances waiting at the bottom of the hill.”

Henry Beard and Roy McKie wrote a “Skier’s Dictionary” full of funny fall line expressions, including “skiing is the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk,” and “Skier: one who pays an arm and a leg for the opportunity to break them.”

Warren Miller, legendary ski film producer and now director of skiing at the posh private Yellowstone Club, said, “If you don’t try skiing now, you’ll be another year older when you do.”

And then there is Amos the Moose, Sugarloaf’s mountain mascot. Taking a queue from Mickey Mouse, Amos says nothing; he just smiles, and waves and skis away.

 Vermont| New Hampshire |Canada | Rockies | Sun n'Sea Travel

All Stories by Heather Burke
All Photography by Greg Burke.

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