Today, a guest essay from Coach Jim Felty, particularly well-timed considering the US women are once again rockin' the World Cup!
This year I could not help but notice all of the new Seattle Mariners...in the stands, at the grocery store, on the ferry and in restaurants/bars...I did not realize that so many people in the PNW played for them...I thought that the Mariners were limited to only 26 players per team. I have also noticed, wow, there are a lot of Seahawks as well...funny, I could have sworn they were limited to around 60 players, yet last week there were hundreds on the ferry headed to the game. This made me think about things...if I have a team hat, am I on the team?
By now you are probably wondering what the old coach is rambling about...well, we should represent our sport the way we represent our favorite teams in the pro market. Jessie Diggins is a professional; where is my Diggins jersey or maybe a Bjornsen jersey...oh wait, we nordic skiers do not wear jerseys; we wear lycra. In my case, not particularly well. However, I want to support and promote our U.S. Ski Team in any way possible. Donation...done, T-shirt... bought, ball cap on my head. A couple years ago I competed at USA Triathlon Championship in Cleveland...sooooo many people walking around with USA Triathlon apparel, it was impressive. Then I coached at the Olympic Trials, where USA Track & Field apparel was abundant throughout the venue. What great marketing, what great support and promotion of the sports.
In my younger days I had the distinct pleasure of living abroad in the service of our great country. Living in Oslo afforded me an opportunity to not only cherish time on epic ski trails but to watch with amazing pride nearly every youth skier and adult skier representing their heroes in near identical colors...Daehlie, Alsgaard, Bjoergen, the nation and programs were supported at every level. Club apparel often was adorned with the sponsors and national flag and the sport was promoted and supported through these sales and methods of inclusion.
Today, I live in Winthrop during the winters and blend in...but there are days I look very professional supporting and promoting our U.S. Ski Team...and I will keep promoting our sport, because the way to grow it is through support. So head on over to the team website and get your gear on. GO U.S. Ski Team!
(photo of Jessie Diggins: fasterskier.com from Nordic Focus)