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Sports column | Travis Ganong’s love of skiing resonates

I’ve always figured skiing is like most sports, how the average participant approaches the activity is a far cry from how the world-class athlete sees it.

While I tend to leave the speed suit side of skiing to my colleagues on the sports desk, reading what Squaw Valley skier Travis Ganong had to say from the World Championships in Colorado last week gave me pause to consider the accuracy of my perceived gap in mindsets between, at least some, top skiers and the average Joe.

The quotation that got me the most came from a story I read on http://www.deadspin.com.

“I’ve dreamed of being here, and I’m here, and I love to ski,” Ganong was quoted as saying. “And I get to go ski powder in a day and a half when I go home!”

Here he was on the cusp of what may very well be the biggest podium of his career thus far, second in the downhill, and, like many of my friends and myself, he had Lake Tahoe powder skiing on the brain — awesome.

Sure enough, a few days after Ganong made the statement, he appeared in a short GoPro video with JT Holmes ripping fresh turns at Squaw Valley.

I’m no expert on Ganong and don’t know him personally, but seeing someone excel at the height of the skiing world while rubbing shoulders on familiar chairlifts, and clearly loving what he does, is refreshing. He’s certainly not alone in this love of the mountains and accessibility among champion athletes at Lake Tahoe. Running into Olympians and X Games champions on the lifts or the grocery store is one of the many reasons why Lake Tahoe is such a special place. Still, the guy’s enthusiasm for the sport drips off his statements.

“I woke up this morning and I had so much pressure,” Ganong was quoted as saying in an article written by Shauna Farnell in the Sierra Sun. “I couldn’t really sleep much last night. But I woke up and said, ‘OK, I’ve skied my whole life. I’ve trained so hard the last couple of years. I love to ski. Let’s just go out and have some fun.’ All day long I was super relaxed and just having a good time.”

While I always try and support any local athlete on national and international stages, I’ll definitely be rooting for Ganong to succeed after reading some of his statements. I just hope I don’t have to compete with him for powder turns.

Adam Jensen is editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com.


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