Mountains (no Valleys) of winter sports
MOUNTAIN — to the Lake Placid High School boys nordic ski team, which won its fourth consecutive state championship this week. The Lake Placid and Saranac Lake teams have slugged it out all year, but at the state meet, the Blue Bombers soared over the Red Storm — and everyone else. Great job, guys — and to all who competed.
We hope this sport gets more attention in the U.S. after Americans Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won Olympic gold in the team sprint race Feb. 21. It was a thrilling finish; if you haven’t seen it yet, Google it and watch the video clip of the final minute. It was only the U.S.’s second Olympic medal, and first gold, in cross-country skiing. In the afterglow of that win, it’s good to think about our local nordic dynasty and to reflect that our part of the state is a ski powerhouse.
Heck, the executive director of USA Nordic is Vermontville’s own Bill Demong, the 2010 Olympic gold and silver medalist in nordic combined. At the welcome-home parade in Saranac Lake after those Olympics, he told the crowd, “I hope that this medal, that these medals, go into the collective consciousness of these children and that someday this will be thought of as the beginning of nordic domination for the United States.”
MOUNTAIN — to the North Country Community College women’s basketball team, which advanced to the Region III tournament semifinals Tuesday with a win over Hudson Valley. The Saints play Columbia-Greene on Saturday at Finger Lakes Community College, and we are rooting for them big-time.
Meanwhile, we’re sorry the NCCC men’s team was eliminated Tuesday with a five-point loss to Cayuga. But they ended their season with an admirable 21-8 record, and Damon Hunter broke the school’s all-time scoring record, so they have much to be proud of.
MOUNTAIN — to the U.S. Olympic Committee naming luger Chris Mazdzer, of Saranac Lake, and bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor — both Olympic silver medalist sliders based out of the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid — as finalists for Team USA Awards. There are only five finalists each for the male, female and team “Best of the Games,” so it’s a huge honor. Please go online to TeamUSA.org/Awards and vote — for them, if you think they deserve it. We do.
MOUNTAIN — to all who competed in sports this winter at any level, from youth to modified to varsity to college to Olympic — and to those who coached or otherwise helped them along. Staying active is a great way to get through the winter, even if it’s just recreational skiing, skating or snowshoeing. There’s not much of winter left, although the forecast says we’re supposed to get a bit of snow today. Whatever comes, try to get out and make the most of it.