It’s go time folks! After a spring, summer and fall of preparation and training the first races of the season kick off in less than two weeks! With any luck (and a little help from the snow gods), the entire SMS Elite Team will be ripping around snowfields on skinny skis by next Monday and putting all that off-season training to work. Before saying our goodbyes to Stratton and packing our bags for the first races of the season, we welcomed the community in and around Stratton to join us for one last hoorah at our annual SMS Send-Off Soiree!
Our team is incredibly lucky to have the support of an entire community behind us and we would not exist without their belief in the team and our mission to achieve international excellence and inspire a culture of a cross-country skiing in the U.S. The send-off dinner gave us the chance to thank all of our supporters in person, recognize their role in our success as a team and a club and share some of our highlights since we started the team just over four years ago. From a small team of 6 skiers with only one Olympian, we’ve grown to a crew of 9 athletes, including 4 Olympians and 6 U.S. Ski Team athletes who have worked together to earn 2 World Championship medals, over 10 World Cup podiums and reached upwards of 5,000 youth skiers and athletes in the process!
The West River Nordic BKL kids stole the show though when they gifted each of us their autographed “athlete cards” complete with personal stats (Gunnar’s favorite food is blueberries) and action photos PLUS a tasty chocolate bar. We are so fortunate to work with these kids on a weekly basis and can’t wait to follow them this season as well. The send-off dinner always gets us psyched to head out on the road and gives us that last bit of momentum we need to hit the trails skiing! Thank you to everyone who joined us for the event and for cheering us on throughout the winter. You make the difference!