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The joy of skiing

MADALYN CRONEY, 11

Hi, my name is Madalyn Croney. I am 11 years old and I am in 5th grade. My favorite thing to do is to go downhill skiing. I was 11 months old when my dad put me in a front pack and skied with me. I don’t remember the first time I went skiing on my own, but I was young. I have loved it ever since.

I have been racing with Marquette Mountain Race team for 4-5 years now. I race two nights and two days per week. I have a few coaches, but the best coach is coach DJ, because if you ask for “broccoli” he’ll give you candy, like chocolate kisses and caramels. The coaches say a lot of things. It depends on what we are working on. Lately, we have worked on edging, that’s where you turn your skies really hard one way in the snow and it makes you turn. We also work on pole plants which is where you take your pole and plant it in the ground right before the gate and then ski around it. I think my favorite is slalom because you can hit the gates, even though GS is faster. GS stands for Giant Slalom, you can’t hit the gates because there are two poles instead of one with a flag in the middle and with slalom only one pole with a flag.

Sometimes you can be scared before a race if you are worried that you won’t do good. I get over the fear by looking at it as a commitment because if your parents paid for it you should do it. It also makes you a better skier to face your fear. Like sometimes if there is just one area that is really scary I might think “I can’t do this,” but then I end up doing it.

For safety while racing you need a helmet, goggles, ski boots, skies, gloves, snow pants, and a jacket. If you want you can use poles. I use poles because they make it easier to race. I wear a racing suit for race days. My suit is green, black and white. My racing number is 31. You can keep your number if you are going to race again next year. I usually race every weekend. I usually place fourth or fifth and sometimes third. This season my goal is to beat my mom because she does race league and I just want to beat her! I’m almost there! My dad does race league too and he can go backwards all the way down.

Practices are at Marquette Mountain and we practice on Snowfield, Rocket or Ridge. They put out the flags for both slalom and GS and we do drills. Some races are out of town, but most of them are at Marquette Mountain. We sometimes travel to Pine Mountain and Mont Ripley. My favorite place to ski is Pine Mountain because they have a ton of tree skiing: where you can go in the woods and ski. I also go on jumps, but on a flat hill I won’t do a trick, I just jump. Sometimes I do a 360 off jumps.

If you are interested in racing you can call Marquette Mountain for more information about it. I would recommend it to other kids because it is a good experience. It is nice to be outside and it gets you exercising and you make friends.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Madalyn Croney is 11 years old and in the fifth grade. She is an avid downhill skier.

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