STRATTON SCHOOL EXT WITH SIGNWell I am one of those people who enjoys winter and yes enjoys the snow and cold.  So when the Connecting Point crew was talking about a Winter Sports series for February I was hoping my contribution could involve skiing.  I had heard about the Stratton Mountain School in Vermont and had actually visited the School about 20 years ago so I was aware of its reputation of sending athletes to the Olympics.

On a beautiful sunny day last month, videographer Mark Langevin and I made the 2 hour trip to Stratton Mountain. We met up with the schools Communications Director Meredith Morin and she took us on the hill;  me on my skis and Mark riding on a snow mobile. We filmed the students going through their paces working on their timing and form.  We met the Abdow kids from Longmeadow, who are students at the School and we also talked with Alice Merryweather, a 17 year old from Hingham. Alice is one of the top skiers at Stratton, she is the number 1 slalom skier in the US for her age group.  We talked about her dream of being in the Olympics and I have a feeling she is going to make it.

As we filmed the kids practicing, it was amazing to think that we were watching some future Olympians.  These kids are on the hill training every day from 8:30 – 11:30, then they head back to the school for the academic portion of their day.  Their day ends well after dark with either homework, fitness workouts  or tuning their equipment for the next day.

My hope for our Celebrating Winter Sports Series is that we will highlight some of the amazing athletes we have from this area.  Our host Aliz Koletas visited the International Skating Center in Simsbury CT and talked with two former Olympians.

Producer Tony Dunne will tell the story of the Thunderbolt Ski Trail located on Mt Greylock.  It has a rich history that even involves training some German athletes for the Olympics back in the late 30’s

Our final winter sports story will be hosted by Jim Madigan as he sits down with Maura and Lindsey Bellamy — mother and sister respectively of Olympic Hockey Player Kacey Bellamy of Westfield.

I hope you enjoy our series airing every Thursday night on Connecting Point in the month of February.