Thanks for joining us again for the 8th annual Story Project where we use our collective memories to bring us together and raise a little money for the sport! Last year we we raised over $100k to fuel our high flying athletes and programs. Be one the first on the list for this year– click here to donate now!
Or better yet, set up your own fundraising page on Classy and reach out to others to support you and USANS. For more information, click here.OCT 2018, LAKE PLACID, NY- DENNIS MORGAN complets the a full circle that started with his mother and grandparents in the early 1980’s.
Remembering Lake Placid
Embracing winter was a must if you grew up just outside Rochester, NY where lake effect snow was the norm. As a young girl, I learned to cross country ski with my parents. A typical family vacation over February break was a trip to cross country ski in the Adirondacks. Some of my most vivid memories of these ski vacations are of visiting Lake Placid with my parents after the 1980 Winter Olympics. I remember how excited the town was about the Miracle on Ice when the USA Men’s Hockey team upset Russia to advance to the gold medal game. I remember skiing the cross country trails at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and thinking how cool am I skiing on the same trails as Olympians. I remember riding in a 4 person bobsled with my dad, a driver and a brakeman. I remember visiting the Olympic ski jumping complex. I remembering riding the elevator up the 120 and the elevator operator telling us, “these ski jumpers don’t have both oars in the water.” I remember watching a ski jumping competition in Lake Placid in the winter. I remember thinking how crazy the ski jumpers were, but yet how cool it was that they could fly.
I remember visiting Lake Placid one summer with my parents and boyfriend, Dennis. This was the first time Dennis had watched ski jumping live and the first time any of us had seen summer jumping.
Fast forward to January 2001, Dennis and I have now been married for several years and have a 2 year old son. We have just moved to North Conway, NH from Cleveland, OH to live in a ski town. I remember reading the local paper and learning that Kennett High School has a ski jumping team! I remember thinking high school ski jumping really? Yes, but only in NH. I remember every winter bundling up the family and heading out to the ski jumps on the Kanc for the 1 home ski jump meet Kennett would host each winter. I remember thinking wow what a cool high school sport.
I remember our son, Dennis III (D3 as we call him) talking about ski jumping for Kennett when he got old enough. I remember D3 as a 14 year old freshman taking his first jump at Proctor Academy. He never even had ski jumping skis on until the night of his first meet. I remember his Coach, Chip Henry, telling me not to worry, he will be fine! I remember D3 and his Kennett teammate, Sean competing in their first non-high school ski jumping meet. I remember D3’s first jump off the Lebanon 50. I remember long drives from North Conway to Lake Placid for D3 to train. I remember D3 calling to tell us he jumped the 90 in Lake Placid. I remember Junior Nationals at Norge. I remember D3’s first jumps in Park City as a freshman at the University of Utah. I remember Junior Nationals in Alaska.
But it is my most recent ski jumping memory that brings this story full circle. I remember my parents, D3’s grandparents watching him jump the 90 in Lake Placid at Flaming Leaves this fall. This was the 1st time they had seen their grandson jump a 90 and how special was it that it happened in Lake Placid! I guess the elevator operator would say that D3 does not have both oars in the water!
Kennett (NH) High School ski jumping team coach Chip Henry holds the hardware while the team celebrates its NH (National) High School title in February 2017. Dennis finished 3rd to help secure the victory for Kennett.