ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – As the world waits for the next Winter Olympic games in Beijing, the Rochester Nordic Ski Team is already ahead of the game.
Thursday night the Rochester Nordic Ski Team wrapped up its season with a special tradition: their very own games. It’s all a part of the team’s last day of practice for the season and a tradition they’ve been following for nearly two decades.
“Our goal is to teach them a life long sport,” RNST Head Coach David Herbert said.
150 athletes from the Rochester area skied for gold on Thursday at the Quarry Hill Nature Center.
“This is a time for the skiers to let loose, have fun and enjoy being with each other,” Herbert said.
Skiers raced in seven different events.
“One of them is the soccer ball dribble where they have to dribble the soccer ball with their skis. Another one is a three legged race where two skiers tie their legs together. Another one is a one pole race,” Herbert explained. “We time it all and hand out as many medals as we can.”
The catch? Everyone had to be on skis.
“I got the bronze medal last year, not to flex,” Mayo High School Senior Ingrid Wilder joked.
Either way, if it’s gold, or if it’s silver, it’s all for fun.
“It’s a really fun way to get everyone involved and have a good time,” Wilder continued.
“I’m personally a really bad skier,” Wilder said. “But everyone here is always welcoming and amazing and even if you’re last in the race there’s going to be someone cheering for you. ”
And of course, the love of the sport.
“It’s been a long winter,” Herbert said. “Usually there’s no snow this time of year. Those kids that want to ski will probably do it for another month.”
The team officially wraps up its season with an end of the year banquet.