Chiara and Ron Gajar
Archive for February, 2010
Friday, February 26th, 2010
The communities of Tahoe, Truckee and Squaw Valley are mourning once again for the loss of an amazing local athlete. On February 24, we lost C.R. Johnson, a long time local and Squaw Valley skier. Reports say he was enjoying the powder mother nature had dumped and while doing something he loved he lost his life. C.R. reportedly was skiing down the Light Towers, the rocky outcropping skier’s right of the Slot, his ski got caught on a rock and he went head first into a rocks below.
Though I did not personally know C.R., I know his family and feel for them as they had spent the last several years nursing C.R. thur recovery,both physically and emotionally, after his last major accident. The community is mourning this loss and it makes me think of the last few years. We, as a community, have lost quite a few… Shane McConkey, Randy Davis and ski patroller Andrew Entin to name a few. Is this something that happens in all communities, or is it more here because we live in an area where higher risk sports are enjoyed on a daily basis? In either case it is a loss and we send our good wishes to the Johnson family.
Friday, February 26th, 2010
So the Olympics have been ongoing the last two weeks. Ron and I have been getting much less sleep than usual as we can’t seem to turn the TV off during the late evening coverage. I just love seeing the athletes fulfill their dreams by being at the Olympics. Some of the events I really look forward to, mostly the skiing ones and others I enjoy seeing because I just to get to see them except for during the Winter Olympics. The Olympic spirit has been high here in Squaw Valley as quite a few of the athletes are from Squaw Valley, Tahoe and Truckee. It is especially exciting that our home town girl, Julia Mancuso, won two Silver medals.
Each evening before the prime time Olympic coverage, the KCRA Chanel 3 news out of Sacramento has been doing a live show at the Resort at Squaw Creek called the Olympic Zone. The show includes highlights of the Olympics and then segments on locals somehow related to winter sports and or the Olympics. I was interviewed earlier this week as a former ski cross competitor. The 2010 Olympic Games marks the debut for the ski cross event. It is an exciting sport where 4 skiiers race down a course full of air features and banked turns with the fastest two advancing to the next round. This year there were no American women competing at the Olympics in ski cross.
Mae Fesai, of KCRA news, decided to do a story on me because of my past successes in the sport. Back in 2000 and 2001, I took a gold medal at the Winter Gravity Games and silver and bronze at the X-Games. Here is the interview video they showed earlier this week during this Olympic Zone show. It was a bit of a Hollywood experience. Enjoy the clip.
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
“Currently, Team USA has won 25 medals (seven gold, eight silver, and ten bronze) at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. That total matches the number of medals won at the Torino 2006 Winter Games. With one more medal, the United States will set a record for the most medals won at an Olympic Winter Games not held on US soil.
Anyone who registers on Teamusa.org will have access to the latest info and will receive exclusive updates throughout the rest of the games. http://teamusanews.org”
This is a portion of an email I received from the Team USA News coordinator this morning. Check out their site for the lastest updates.
Friday, February 19th, 2010
On Wednesday, the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund held their annual luncheon at the Resort at Squaw Creek. The Queen of Hearts is an group of women who all donated $1000, created a fund of over $1,000,000. The annual proceeds from the fund are donated back into the community, usually to non profit organizations. I was on the committee again this year to plan this wonderful event. The day started with a ski clinic where fellow Queens shared a few tips and techniques of skiing. About 30 “Queens” gathered to enjoy a beautiful blue bird ski day.
The luncheon portion of the day was held at the Resort at Squaw Creek where approximately 300 women from the community gathered for the event. The afternoon included a wonderful lunch highlighted by the key note speakers, Bob and Lee Woodruff. Bob Woodruff, former ABC World News anchor suffered severe brain injuries while doing a story in Iraq four years ago. Bob and his wife Lee spoke about their experiences and their road to recovery, both physically and emotionally. They have a great sense of humor and play off each other nicely creating a wonderful vibe in the room. Their take home message was the three F’s, family, faith and friends, are what get you through devastating times. This, coupled with the comment from Lee, to live in the moment as much as possible were the comments that struck a cord with me. To conclude the afternoon, Bob and Lee signed their books for the Queens, one they worked on together and one by Lee. We were grateful to have had the Woodruffs share a lunch with us and glad they could enjoy such a wonderful ski week in our community. Here’s the link for the Sierra Sun article about their visit.
Bob and Lee Woodruff
Thursday, February 18th, 2010
Our Squaw Valley hometown girl, Julia Mancuso, takes the Silver medal for the women’s downhill in Vancouver. This is Julia’s second Olympic medal as she also brought home a gold from the Torino Games. Everyone is Squaw Valley is routing for her continued success in Vancouver. Before heading off to Vancouver, she came home for a few days and took time out of her day to ski a run with the Mighty Mite Team. It was great seeing a couple hundred little helmet heads follow her down the mountain run. That has made the excitement about Julia even greater as all the little ones at Squaw are routing for her just as much as the rest of us. The Visa commercial during the Olympics has been fun to see… her childhood drawing comes to life as it becomes her reality. The community of Squaw Valley and the race team family are very proud of Julia Mancuso.
Sunday, February 14th, 2010
What a beautiful day to spend with my Valentine. Skate skiing in the meadow… another great reason we love living in Squaw Valley. The meadow in Squaw Valley is such a beautiful place… great views of the mountains, Squaw Creek running thru and this time of year a series of groomed trails for sport. We had a nice bit of exercise before heading over to the ski resort to watch our little Mighty Mite enjoy his race. It’s something seeing your kids excel and sports you love. After the race we went for the full Village experience… had lunch, perused through a few shops and enjoyed a cold beverage. The Village was bustling with activity and fun, just oozing the mountain experience we all love. Enjoy your the rest of your Valentine Day.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
My son has continued to ask all ski season about going night skiing. With a full schedule of skiing on the Mighty Mite team, we hardly seem to get out otherwise. So we finally took the kids night skiing and what a blast. This was the first time our little family of four all skied together which was monumental itself. We schlepped all the gear and made it to High Camp for a few runs under the lights on Belmont. My son (5 yr) and husband enjoyed hitting the jumps and boxes, while my daughter (2 yr) and I worked on the basics of skiing, namely stopping. It was her third time on the mountain. We truly enjoyed the experience of skiing at night and skiing as a whole family.
Sunday, February 7th, 2010
One of our Gold Medal Olympians was here in Squaw Valley…Julia Mancuso. She went through the Squaw Valley ski team and then onto the US Ski Team. After a great January of races, Julia decided to come home for a few days of training on her home mountain before heading off to Vancouver. Yesterday Julia skied a run with the Squaw Valley Mighty Mites. It was fun waiting at the “Big Tree” for Julia and all the teams to come down at the end of the day. Quite a sight as she lead a few hundred kids down the Sunny Side of the Mountain Run.
Julia Mancuso signing autographs for the Mighty Mites
Once at the tree, Julia was ready for the mob of kids asking for her autograph as parents gathered with cameras. In addition to the signings, Julia was selling sweatshirts she designed herself. This morning Julia was on Exhibition training slalom. What fun, especially for the local race teams, to have an Olympic athlete stop by so close to the Winter Games. We here at Lawrence Realty wish Julia the best for races in Vancouver.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Big news in our little town of Squaw Valley. The well rumored story that Squaw Valley Ski Corp was buying out The Village at Squaw Valley is now a known fact. Check the press release here. The acquisition was completed and now Ski Corp and Intrawest (former owner of The Village) are working to make the transition as smooth as possible. Hearing this news everyone has to wonder about the motivation of the purchase and the results of a single ownership over the whole resort. What are your thoughts? Was this a good move by Ski Corp? How do you envision the future of Squaw Valley?