WAKEFIELD, Mich. (WLUC) — Amateur skiers showed off their skills on the slopes of Gogebic County today.
This is an opportunity to improve their ranking for future competitions. Temperatures remained in the single digits throughout Sunday, the final day of the event, and the wind chill dipped to -20 degrees.
It was a freezing winter day in Upper Michigan. “On a cold day like today, if you hadn’t had these riders here, it would be a pretty desolate mountain,” Big Snow Resort Ski Services Manager Klaus Buschalla said of from Indianhead Ski Resort.
Along with Blackjack, Indianhead is one of Big Snow Resort’s two main ski hills. The frigid winter air hovering over the resort didn’t stop 110 amateur skiers from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Central Division from gathering there for their first race of 2022.
Over the weekend, the Northern Michigan University International Ski Federation (FIS) men’s and women’s mid-amateur events were held on both mountains. “It’s a mid-am, which is a pretty big race for these youngsters,” Buschalla said.
The men and women, aged 16 to 20, competed in two slalom events each on January 8 and 9. In slalom, racers ski downhill quickly, back and forth between gates to the finish line.
The athletes’ goal for this weekend’s event is to lower their USSA and FIS points by performing their fastest races possible. “The lower your points, the better your standing for future races, and you will be invited to other races at a higher level,” Buschalla said.
Those with the lowest USSA or FIS points in the nation have a shot at ultimate glory. “It’s the way to get to the national level, or the US Ski Team if you ever get there,” Buschalla said.
Big Snow Resort plans to host the USSA U14 Shelly Glover Memorial Run Jan. 14-16. For more information on the final standings of the NMU FIS Mid-Am Men’s and Women’s event, visit the International Ski Federation.
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