Snow Creates Excitement at Wirth Park Ski Events
All this snow is good news for upcoming cross country ski events. There is plenty going on in the next couple weeks at Golden Valley’s Theodore Wirth Park, which has become a skier’s mecca.
The fun in the snow started Friday with the Master’s World Cup races.
“This event ends Friday night with the closing ceremony,” said Mike Bono, a race volunteer. “Then starting Saturday the Loppet starts with the classic events.”
The Masters World Cup is truly a global event.
“We’ve had over 800 athletes from the U.S., Canada and 32 other countries come for the week-long event,” Bono said.
“We go from Brazil, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the usual suspects, to France, England and the Scandinavian countries,” said Mark Stange, a race volunteer.
The U.S. has not hosted a Master’s World Cup in 12 years and the skiers range in age from 30 to 90.
“It’s a great gathering of cross country skiers from all around the world,” Bono said.
Monday’s snowy weather made things tricky for skiers on the course.
“It’s more challenging to figure out what wax to use when it’s snowing,” Stange said. “Because underneath is artificial snow. So you’ve got natural snow on top of artificial snow.”
But all in all, the snowflakes are definitely a welcome sight for skiers and race officials.
“Perfect conditions here,” Bono said. “This is going to really help us out for the next couple of days.”
The snowy scene did not stop 80-year old Pat Kaald of Bellevue, Wash. She finished her race with ease.
“Some people ski until they’re out of breath,” Kaald said. “I am just out there having a good time.”
Age is just a number for Kaald. She refuses to slow down and give into father time.
“Just keep moving whatever way you can do it,” Kaald said. .”We’ve got canes on both sides of us to hold us up.”
A number of skiing events will go on at Theodore Wirth through Super Bowl Sunday in what is being called the Loppet Urban Cross Country Ski Festival.