A Semester on the Slopes: An Overview of Inspires’ Ski Team This Racing Season

February 26, 2024, by Sabrina Chavez

Written by Inspire student writer, Margareta Grant-Dreher

This year has been one of immense growth for sports at Inspire. In some clubs, attendance has increased threefold. With increased participation in the various sports oriented teams throughout campus, it seems that Inspire staff and students have stepped up for physical activity in our school community.

One major contributor was the ski team, led by junior MK Kidd. MK has personally won third place in several races, and first place in a slalom ski race (a slalom race includes closely compacted gates for skiers to maneuver around, and is more technically challenging then a giant slalom race, which focuses more on pace and not technicality).

Another junior, Malia C., also helped put Inspire’s ski team on the map; they placed ninth in All League, which includes every slalom and giant slalom races thus far. Upcoming in March are the state championships, which the Inspire ski team, represented by Malia C. (11), MK K. (11), Lucas F. (12), and Noah A. (10), will be attending. Members of the ski team also hope to attend state championships in Mammoth, California next year.

Although the Inspire ski team has accomplished so much in one season, it wasn’t always easy. MK K. mentioned that they had to overcome the challenge of “learning to focus on technique in slalom races and not just relying on speed. It used to be very challenging for me to pay attention to the course and my form because I’d be so focused on trying to go as fast as possible, but after a lot of training I have figured out how to use the correct form to increase my speed and not take away from it.” MK also had to deal with an injury obtained on the ski course.

Even in the midst of struggle, Inspire’s ski team has experienced some “amazing growth,” according to MK K. For one thing, they have tripled in size. Last year, only two people were on the Ski Team. This year, 5 people joined, bringing their team up to six people. This allowed  for the addition of a Men’s team.

In addition to quantity, MK believes that members of the ski team grew personally. They mentioned that  “On a deeper level [besides growing in members] though I feel like we would each say we have different takeaways but I think some of those include confidence, teamwork, and flexibility. Everybody has done an amazing job adapting to changing plans and juggling the demand of the ski team with their otherwise busy lives.”

Throughout the ski season, racers are faced with physically demanding activity. They must occasionally miss class, and down time is limited. However, there are also positive experiences that help bring together the team. A highlight for MK “was having a larger team this year and the community we built as well as connecting to athletes at other schools.”

MK’s other favorite moments included dressing up for the last race and making pancakes. “It’s a tradition that on the last race every season everybody dresses up in fun costumes so that’s always a fun time. Also on our first training day up in the mountains I had an idea to make pancakes as sort of a breakfast tailgate. Long story short- we all ended up burning our tongues on scorching hot chocolate and eating close to raw pancakes because the propane tank broke. It was definitely not what I planned but ended up being super hilarious and fun.”

Next year, MK hopes to positively impact Inspire’s ski team as an upperclassman. They are “looking forward to hopefully expanding the team even further and getting more underclassmen involved for the sake of longevity after I graduate.”

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