This column is going to be a medley of unrelated topics. And I’m going to start with a topic that isn’t about skiing or history, although it may be about history in the making.

While Vermont has produced more than its share of winter Olympians, the same can’t be said of the summer Olympics. However just up the road from Stowe in Montgomery Center is a young woman who competed in the last summer games and has her sights set on this summer’s Olympics in Paris.  

Elle Purrier St. Pierre is a prototype Vermonter. She grew up on a dairy farm and she and her husband now run a dairy farm. In true Vermont fashion they were making maple syrup this past weekend as the sap has started to run.

Just a couple weeks back at the Millrose games in New York City, St. Pierre won the women’s Wanamaker Mile setting a new American record for the indoor mile. Actually she held the previous record so she really broke her own record. And this was just 11 months after giving birth to her son! St. Pierre said, “this one’s for the moms!”

Track and Field athletes don’t get the recognition they deserve. The work and dedication it takes to be a world class athlete defies description. Vermont should be very proud of Elle Purrier St. Pierre and make sure she gets the recognition she deserves!

Now for some follow-up on input I’ve received from readers. Bill Kornrumpf is a former Stowe Host and usually has answers for my trivia questions. However since he gets the Stowe Reporter by mail, the slower mail service means by the time he receives it, it’s too late to respond to my questions!

Rosemount Boots
Rosemount Boots

Bill did share that his first plastic ski boots were the Rosemounts I wrote about earlier this season. He says he skied on them for several seasons and “the side entry worked well, and I got the bags in the right orientation without too much trouble.”

Bill also shared a great story about Nancy Greene who also was a topic of an earlier column. I’ll let him tell it in his own words:

“I worked the ’80 Olympics alpine events at Lake Placid and Nancy [Greene] was there.  She was the referee and doing an inspection run on the women’s GS course.  We were following to make any necessary changes.  Willie Schaeffler had set the course, and it didn’t meet FIS standards for distance between gates in one section.  Nancy called him on the radio to tell him it had to be fixed.  He explained clearly over everybody’s radios that to change it would make the course have as much rhythm as ‘… a sow peeing while going down the trail’.  I can’t remember Nancy’s exact reply, but we did adjust the course to meet FIS standards.“

I also received input from Art Lloyd. Art was a longtime member of the Dawn Patrol, however he hung up his skis at the end of the 2022 season. He says he still likes to reminisce about old times and old equipment. He offered his memories on ski boots:

Most Comfortable – Molitor, no contest!
Most Painful – Injected foam Nordicas (there’s a reason they never caught on!)
Most Fun – Salomon SX
Best Ski Boot Moments – Putting them on and (aaah!) taking them off!

Last week’s trivia question asked when was the first Stowe Derby? I didn’t receive any answers. The first Stowe Derby was held in 1945. Local legend has it that it was the result of a bet between Sepp Ruschp and Erling Strom. There may have been a bet, but an article by Erling Strom in the January 1954 Mount Mansfield Ski Club newsletter shows more planning went into it.

Strom says the idea originated in the fall of 1944 while Sepp, Erling, Charlie Lord, and Rolf Holtvedt were clearing brush on the Nose Dive. They conceived of a race from the Octagon to the Memorial building which would highlight the oldest form of skiing competition. Since they felt younger people weren’t interested in cross country skiing, they’d restrict entrants to age 35 and up. But their hope was that eventually young people would be interested. That hope was realized and I have to think those founders would be amazed to see what their idea has become today!