Park City, UT
Having grown up in the Southeast, between Georgia and Florida, it is safe to say that I do not know much at all about the snow sport options available for my kiddos other than snow skiing. Moving to a ski town more than 10 years ago, I knew that I wanted my kids to take advantage of snow skiing or any other opportunity given the location of our new home in Park City, Utah.
Settling down in our new hometown, we met a variety of people with connections to different snow sports and number of them I did not know much about. We met folks from bobsled, skeleton, moguls, snowboarding, and a couple who had a connection to something called Nordic Combined. I had no idea what Nordic Combined consisted of or that it was an Olympic level sport. I am, after all, a kid who grew up on lakes and the beach.
About a year after our Park City move Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. As it turned out one of my wife’s new friends had a connection to Nordic Combined. She mentioned that her friend was at the Olympics watching her boyfriend compete. We tuned in to watch the end of the competition and maybe see her friend on TV. It turned
out that her boyfriend was Bill Demong and he just happened to win Gold in Vancouver while we were watching.
Fast forward six years to December 2016 with my 5-year old son playing with Liam (an addition to the Demong Family) and him asking my son if he would like to come to “jump with him at the jumps”. The local club (Park City Nordic Combined Club) was having a Free Flying Friday where my son Oliver could come try ski jumping with his buddy Liam. Turns out that cold snowy night on alpine skis jumping off the small hills was a thrill my son could not pass up.
After our first night of jumping my kiddo could not stop talking about it and asked when he could jump with Liam again. The next week my son joined the local club and started going jumping twice a week for the remainder of the 2016/2017 winter. He also followed his buddy Liam to Kickers and Gliders to try out skate and classic skiing.
My now 8-year old is now hooked on the sport I knew nothing about before moving to the mountains. I no longer just have a connection to the Nordic Combined sport rather a newfound love for the sport, an athlete/participant, and longtime friends.
In addition, it has been amazing to see my son gain confidence, starting with the rollers, moving to the 5-meter, the 10-meter, and 20-meter jumps. He has also had failures and overcome them on his own to move forward…just like he will have to do in life. It has been a joy to watch him progress over last three winters with the help of the amazing coaching staff in Park City (and his buddies at the club).
For him it is “fly, land, repeat” all the while having a blast with his friends/coaches whenever he is on the hill. This is how Oliver Miller Flies…How do you Fly?
LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN!
Knowing how competitive we all are and understanding how deeply we associate with our respective Nordic sport (and how much we admire our sisters and brethren on the other side of the Nordic fence) we are setting up a friendly competition on the fundraising side this year. AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S GONNA BE A HORSE RACE!
NOTE THAT ALL FUNDS, WHETHER DONATED THROUGH THE NORDIC COMBINED OR SKI JUMPING LINK, WILL GO TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND TOP TEAMS OF BOTH PROGRAMS!
Way to fly, Oliver Miller!
The sky’s the limit!
Great informative article! Thanks for sharing your experience and insight both Chris and Oliver.
I’m looking forward to seeing you “fly, land, & repeat” this season and beyond…