Back in the old days, the US Ski Team used to send a select team to World University Games. The team was chosen using a tryout system: usually the best two or three out of four races at US Nationals. I had several friends who made the trip more than once, and I always regretted never making the team myself. World University Games was held on odd-numbered years. And during the four years I was in college, those two odd-numbered years were the seasons when I was sort of overtrained and skiing like a sluggish, tired turtle. I heard nothing but good things from my friends who made the team, regarding the level of competition and the fun quotient.
Since that time, I haven’t given the World University Games another thought. That is, until I heard a rumor recently that a bunch of our UAA skiers were planning to race at the World University Games (okay, this is ridiculous – I’m going to call it “WUG” from now on) this December. Apparently, the USA doesn’t select a WUG team any more, and that’s why this event had slipped out of my consciousness. But I guess the WUG didn’t end just because the USA wasn’t selecting a team any more. I heard a rumor that the University of Wyoming is sending its team as the representative of US skiing.
Even if the United States of America isn’t taking this event seriously, that doesn’t mean other countries aren’t. Germany, Switzerland, and France are fielding teams, and we just happen to have skiers from those countries on our UAA Ski Team who made the cut and were selected to represent their countries. Marine and Lukas flew to Europe last week, and Patricia left Alaska yesterday. This year’s WUG has a lot of Alaska connections: the event is being held in Tesero (Val di Fiemme), Italy, Nevio Zeni’s hometown. Current Seawolf alpine skier Anna Berecz will be competing for Hungary. And I heard a rumor that former Seawolf Martin Kapso will be there, representing Slovakia. The WUG starts tomorrow.
Now that I’ve clued you in about the WUG and I’ve told you that a bunch of Seawolves will be there, I expect you’ll want to follow along and see how they’re doing. You can do that by following Lukas Ebner’s blog. Now, under normal circumstances I would never direct you to Lucky’s blog unless I wanted to set you up for disappointment because he typically only updates it every time Halley’s comet comes around. Most of his blog posts start out with something like, “I know it’s been six months since my last post, but I’m going to start updating this blog regularly… starting tomorrow.” That’s fine, of course, because it means he’s spending his time on far more important and interesting things, like studying and training and enjoying his senior year of college instead of sitting in a darkened room, documenting his day-to-day life. But Lucky says he’s going to put something on his blog frequently during WUG, so let’s check it out and see if it happens. (Personally, I hope he spends his time checking out Italy, racing, and doing WUG-related things instead; he can tell us all about it when we see him in Utah in a few short weeks.)
Now look at these pictures I took today while zooming around in an airplane in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Not as exotic as the Italian Dolomites, perhaps, but fun in its own way:
|The Chigmit Mountains and Redoubt Volcano|