Saturday, December 24, 2016


I went to college at the University of Wyoming in the 1980's. Our ski team always had lots of Norwegians on it. Perhaps partly because of this, the University of Wyoming also had a really big, really active Norwegian Student Association. Around that time, Norway was discovering all kinds of oil just offshore in the North Sea, and Norwegians could get all kinds of government grants, scholarships and loans to go overseas and study subjects like geology and petroleum engineering. The University of Wyoming, being in the heart of oil, gas, and coal country as it is, had really strong petroleum and geology programs. If you were a Norwegian skier and could could scrape together a full-ride athletic scholarship and combine it with a full-ride academic scholarship from the Norwegian government, you could do REALLY well for yourself while in college. You could tell who was Norwegian because they always drove the biggest cars and went on the best shopping trips to Denver. There was no shortage of Lincoln Continentals on campus. Here are some my friends from that era:
Americans didn't drive cars like this at the University of Wyoming in the '80's. Only Norwegians did.
But Norwegians weren't the only students at the University of Wyoming. We also had Norwannabe's. You have to understand that Norwegians were the most stylish, the richest, they drove the biggest cars, and they had the goofiest accents, so some people wanted to be just like them. They hung around in the bars where Norwegians were known to hang out like Dr Finfrock's Tavern and the Buckhorn Bar. They lurked around the edges of ski team parties. Wherever you could find Norwegians, if you looked in the shadows and in back corners, you could also find Norwannabe's.

I know you're wondering why I'm telling you all this. What does this have to do with the UAA Ski Team?  Not much.

But some photos came in the door here at Blog HQ today of someone who's apparently either a Norwegian or a Norwannabe.  The mountains in the background look more dramatic than anything I've seen in Norway, and the houses in the background don't look like the kind of places where Norwegians live. But there's a Norwegian flag in every one of these pictures. Maybe you can figure out what's going on here. We at the blog can't.

OK, of course I'm a big fan of the kid with the Sci Club Leffe zoot suit, but I have to admit I'm more intrigued by what's going behind him with the kid in the red. Are you kidding me? 35 seconds before the start and you're being offered a handkerchief? I always felt sad whenever I left Italy after a ski race. Because although things might not always work out according to plan when in Italy, you could always count on someone offering you a nice glass of wine, a really good cup of coffee, or a handkerchief when you needed one.

I hope he raced faster in Cogne than I did when I was in Cogne. From this picture, it looks like he probably did.

I like this one a lot.

Do you think someone had a favorite ski hat?

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