And So it Begins

Hi Everybody!
It’s hard to believe we’re already four days into this trip. It feels like we just got here. The conditions are great here in Stowe, albeit a little chilly out. While the thermometer reading is already low, the added humidity makes for a freezing combo.

We’ve had a great couple of days despite that. After a long two travel days, we had a great, well rested ski yesterday followed by an amazing opening ceremony. We got to parade down the main street of Stowe with all the teams. For a few minutes we got to feel like the real Olympic teams in Sochi doing the parade of nations! We found an awesome flagpole in our basement and waved our California/ Far West flag high. We then walked back to the Ice Arena and got to hear the granddaughter of the recently late Maria Von Trapp speak, along with several other distinguished Stowe-ites and Vermonters. We even were entertained by Rusty, a native of Stowe portraying what he called “Old Vermont”. He entered the arena driving a zamboni and swigging maple syrup! Needless to say, it was quite the performance.

Today was the classic interval start race. 10 kilometers for the U20/U18 boys, and 5 kilometers for everybody else. The course is very hilly, starting off downhill, and climbing back up and descending twice, before going to the low point of the course. From there, its a roughly 1.5 kilometer slog back up to the top of the course and the finish. I was really excited for this race. I felt good and I knew exactly where I wanted to hammer the hardest. As it turned out, I took the first lap a little too hard and I ended up slowing down significantly on the second lap. Still, I left it all out there and even though I was pretty far off my results goal, I had a good race.

As always, there have already been some flag related shenanigans between us and the PNSA crew. With their three houses being less than 300 feet apart from our main house, it was only a matter of time. PNSA, however, made the mistake of leaving their flag on a low part of the roof of one of their houses. Skyler and I seized the opportunity and found a 16 foot long pole in our basement. We used this pole to knock their flag off of the roof and into our hands. As it stands, we are still in possession of the PNSA flag, and I’m fairly confident we still have our own flag.

More news from Stowechi will be coming soon


(Photo creds to Stacey Herhusky) :)


Sam Zabell

Sam ZabellAge: 16
Hometown Truckee, CA
School: Sugar Bowl Academy
Team: Sugar Bowl Academy
Age first skied: 1.5
Favorite Book: Anthem
Favorite Nordic Athlete: Darya Domracheva
Favorite Off Snow Sport: Cycling
Favorite Athlete in that sport: Andy Schelck
Most Memorable Far West Experience:
My most memorable Far West experience was after the skate sprint at the 2013 Super JNQ in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Far West had just taken podiums in all four age divisions, with three first place finishes. Afterward, I was able to go around and nearly everywhere I went, from the announcer to groups of parents, everyone was talking about us and how strong our team was this year. l was especially motivated by this.
Best Racing Experience:
My best racing experience was at the skate sprint at the 2013 Soldier Hollow Super JNQ. I had had a very good preliminary and quarterfinal. In my semifinal, I was coming down the big hill in good drafting position and ready to take the lead. However, I was taken out by another competitor and finished last in my heat. In the B final that followed, I managed to break my pole in the first 100 meters. I did get a new pole quickly and hammered the entire course. By the end, I had fought my way back to second place. Though my race was marked with misfortune, I see it in a positive light because of how I managed to stay positive and focused throughout.
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
I would choose the power to communicate telepathically. This would prove useful for many situations in which an immediate con-bro-sation is necessary.
What is something most people can do that you cannot?
Something I cannot do is to back down once an argument has been initiated or even hinted at. Even if I am arguing for something I know is incorrect, I will fight for it for an inordinate amount of time.