Something to cheer about |

Something to cheer about

ASPEN I didn’t count, but I’m guessing there were about as many spectators on the slopes of Panda Peak on Saturday as there were at this season’s World Cup races.And like the World Cup crowds, these fans were ringing cowbells and shouting out for their favorite racers. It was dumping wet snow, and yet they stood there cheering as racer after racer skied by. I was there – cold and wet and clapping furiously. All day I had wished I was somewhere else; somewhere warm and sunny, preferably with a beach and beer nearby. But when my favorite racer reached the final gate, saw me and yelled, “Did you see me, Mom? Did you see me? I won the race!” there was no place else I would have rather been. It was the final day of Powder Pandas – the local ski program for 3 to 6 year olds – and my 4-year-old son was in his element. He, too, was cold and wet. But it didn’t matter. In just six ski lessons, he had gone from a timid little boy on a ski harness to a master of the ‘Milk … skiing tree trails, ripping the mini-halfpipe and loving every minute of it.And while there was no podium nor any real “winners,” the party-like atmosphere at the base of the hill was as palpable as it was at the World Cup. There were hugs and handshakes, prizes and pictures, cake and, well, cake. And, most important, a crowd of cold and wet parents, siblings and friends. All cheering. All proud. And all, I imagine, in awe of how dumping wet snow couldn’t trump ski racing (and eating cake).

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