It is with pride that I write this blog about Ali Kariotis, a Squaw Valley Freestyle Ski Team member. In Valmalenco, Italy, the FIS Junior World Freestyle competition came to an end with Ali Kariotis on top of the podium, champion on the dual slalom event. This was the 5th USA medal of the competition making it the most successful American representation at the event ever. Ali has been a long time member of the Squaw Valley Ski Teams, starting with the wonderful Mighty Mite program. In fact I was one of her coaches during her time in Mighty Mites. She was delight to ski with then as she loved to ski and be on the snow. She acceled at a young age and now is proving herself in a worldwide arena. Congrats Ali. Click here to read more.
Posts Tagged ‘mighty mites’
Well last weekend’s Mighty Mite Squaw Cup was an experience. Sunday morning, race day, it was incredibly cold from a strong wind. The gates were blowing sideways and the Green Stars were shivering at the top of the course at 9:30am ready to start their first Mighty Mite race. It was one of those times when you feel sorry for the kids in the blowing weather but also have to smile as they make 3 turns between gates, switch courses accidentally and even go through the same finish line while they learn what it is to race. Don’t get me wrong, some of those little Green Stars new exactly what to do, but it was a mixed bag of experiences the kids. I think it took over an hour to get all the Green Starts through the course two times. Hats off to the coaches and race crew for providing the experience and staying positive. Next the Orange Stars did their runs and as they were wrapping up 3 of the 4 lifts open on the mountain closed on wind hold. That left only Exhibition for the Mighty Mites, the other ski teams who were training and the general public still wanting to ski. The Red Stars got started and the wind did not let up. Squaw had to close Exhibition, rightly so. The last thing parents want is there children on an extremely windy chair lift ride.
The rest of the race was moved to Monday (Martin Luther King Day). Luckily the wind had subsided and the sun was out but it was still quite cold. Our son is a Blue Star and he enjoyed two great runs on the course. At this age great means: went around all the gates the right way, stayed on his course, crossed the finish line and was smiling at the end for the fun of it all.
There was an issue that came up during the race, the race times. I was a Mighty Mite coach for 8 seasons and now this is my 4th season as a mother of a Mighty Mite/Shooting Star. I know the races times are never shown. That is why I was shocked when I walked over near the race shack and found an electronic board, out for everyone to see, with names and race times. I thought “This is new. I wonder why they are doing this?” Of course I had to take a look and I found my son’s name with a fairly fast first run time and a DNS for his second run. Quite a few kids had a DNS for their second run, but many of them had times.
From my years of racing I know DNS means Did Not Start, differing from the other abbreviation, DSQ, meaning Disqualified. DNS means you did not do the run. DSQ means you did the run but missed a gate, or several in the case of some of the little competitors this past weekend. I knew my son, as well as many of the others raced both runs. One of the coaches was noticing the board as well and went to check it out and came back to report the display was not working accurately and all the times were in the race shack on the computer. I was glad to know and spread the word to other parents who were asking and looking at the board. It really is a bummer the board was even on because it was causing some confusion.
Anyway when the official results came out and the coaches went up on stage to announce the winners, and our son won the gold for Blue Stars. He was so excited letting us know, this was the first Mighty Mite race that he was in the top ten. We are so proud of him and thankful for the opportunity for him to grow in the sport of skiing through the Mighty Mite program. Thanks to the coaches and staff who do their best with a large number of kids gaining their first racing experiences.
Lawrence Realty is a proud sponsor of the Mighty Mite junior ski program at Squaw Valley. This Sunday over the 3 day weekend will be the Might Mite Squaw Cup of the season. The kids will be racing on the lower part of Exhibition most of the day. Here is the approximate schedule.
9:00 – 9:30 – all teams inspect the courses
9:30 – Green starts and take BOTH runs. One run on the red course and one run on the blue course.
10:45 – Orange takes BOTH runs. One run on the red course and one run on the blue course.
12 noon – Red takes BOTH runs. One run on the red course and one run on the blue course.
12:45 – Purple/Blue takes BOTH runs. One run on the red course and one run on the blue course.
1:30 Silver/Gold takes BOTH runs. One run on the red course and one run on the blue course.
2:00 Awards at the Ford Race arena/Julia’s Double Gold
We will be there supporting the Mighty Mites this weekend and especially our son who is a blue star. See you on the slopes.
We are in the year of the summer Olympic Games in London and Squaw Valley is celebrating their Olympic Heritage, as the host of 1960 Winter Games. This past weekend some the Mighty Mites got to participate in the celebration by doing a Parade of Flags on Exhibition following 1998 Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley. The Red, Purple and Blue Stars of the Mighty Mites each carried a country flag and followed Jonny in snake like fashion down Exhibition. Then they clicked off their skis and headed to the fire pit where Jonny Moseley spoke. He started by thanking the Mighty Mite parents for having their children participate in the program. Jonny, other well known locals Julia Mancuso, Marco Sullivan, Travis Ganong to name a few, started his successful skiing career in the ranks of the Squaw Valley Ski Team. Also present yesterday at the firepit was three time Olympian Kirsten Clark-Rickenbach. Though Kirsten did not grow up in Squaw Valley, she is a local of the valley now with her family and an advocate of the sport. She also had a few words to say to the gathered crowd about the children and the sport of skiing. All in all it was a pleasant and different way to end a day of Mighty Mites. Stay tuned as next week is the first Squaw Cup of season and Lawrence Realty is a proud sponsor.
The Mighty Mites have been having a wonderful season with plenty of miles on skis. Our son keeps progressing both in his ability and his love for the sport of skiing. Here are a few fun photos of the Helmet Decorating Contest judged by the owner and staff of the Wildflour Baking Co.
Lawrence Realty is a proud sponsor of the Mighty Mites which helps fund the two races and jump competition they do each season. The two races have happened successfully this season on nice sunny days and the jump contest coming up soon. It is so fun to see these little athletes being exposed to the competition side of skiing. You never know which ones will get excited and carry on in a ski racing carrer. Squaw Valley has definitely produced a number of Olympic and World Cup athletes who started in the Mighty Mite program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lifestyle is Squaw Valley. The reason so many of us play in Squaw Valley or live in Squaw Valley or have a vacation home in Squaw Valley is because of the lifestyle it provides. It goes without saying the terrain is great, the views are stunning and the weather is desireable pretty much year round. A day like today reminds why I love this valley. I rolled out of bed around 7:30am to the wonderful sound of little feet running and little voices saying good morning. We had breakfast, packed lunches and were in the member’s locker room by 8:30am getting ready to send our son off to Mighty Mites. The member’s locker room is something worth mentioning as it’s a place where people gather usually in good spirits to go do something they enjoy. You also see a few friendly faces on the way thru. Anyway after dropping our son off, we headed up the Funi and then to Broken Arrow for the overly announced opening of Silverado chairlift. To our excitement, few had made it there yet and we had a wonderful run in abou 8-10 inches of dense but fun powder. We zipped right onto the lift, no line, and headed up enjoying the show of people skiing and taking a few drops. Our second run we started just behind High Camp and enjoyed another mostly untracked run however this time we got to lift with everyone else and it was a bit of a mob scene, typical for the first day of Silverado. We headed off to the face of Headwall for our last run of a short ski morning.
So to recap, I was up at 7:30am, enjoyed many cheerful good mornings with friends and clients alike, had 3 great runs of skiing, came home to clean up and change and by 11:30am I was in Truckee bringing my 2 year daughter to a birthday party at one the communites fine resources My Playground. It is a great facility offering indoor gym and play for children of all ages. Anyway a nice party, then back to Squaw to pick up my little Mighty Mite. I have jsut finished off the afternoon working and now am heading to the hot tub with the family. So I played, Idid something for and with the kids and I worked, what a well balanced day. It’s so nice being here in the valley with the access to the mountain so convenient. I couldn’t have enjoyed this day the same way if not for living here. You just can’t beat the lifestyle of Squaw Valley.