By Carolyn Bajzer
For many athletes, winter is more of a wet blanket to those who participate in sports that often rely on warm weather. However, many are unaware of the excitement and whimsy that comes with winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Often highlighted by the Winter Olympics, skiing and snowboarding are sports that can really be done by almost anyone. Recreationally, there are no rules or predetermined plays, but just a fun experience with breathtaking views.
Luckily enough, North Royalton High School (NRHS) offers its students the opportunity to hit the slopes yearly with Ski Club. Students have already begun preparing for the upcoming season as the snow fall starts to accumulate and Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Resorts in Summit County, Ohio, start to open their doors to the public. Senior Valerie Garrett is among the many excited athletes ready to start the winter season off with a bang. “I’ve been snowboarding since I was in sixth grade,” she said. “I became more interested after watching one of my favorite YouTubers Shawn White perform a ton of cool tricks on his snowboard. It was inspiring to see him doing what he loves and filming it to share with others.” Like many, Garret makes it a point to get on her board as much as possible during the winter season. She said, “I love being out there, going down the slopes and taking in the view; it’s an experience in itself.”
In past years, many skiers and snowboarders have had their fair share of worries about the predicted snowfall and its effects on their time spent racing down the slopes. Boston Mills and Brandywine resorts both add to the naturally-produced snow (when possible) by making their own. Often this helps jumpstart a successful day for skiers and snowboarders alike, as they’re greeted with a fresh blanket of snow, the perfect powder. However, with the ever-changing weather in Ohio, the consistency doesn’t stay the same for long.
Avid skier and NRHS alumni Alex Bajzer has already had his first slow day of the season. “I was out at Boston Mills a week after opening day. There’s a good amount of snow, but it’s pretty sticky, making turns less smooth and stopping more difficult,” Bajzer said. Despite the current conditions, skiing and snowboarding offer athletes of all ages, both beginner or advanced, a great opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Bajzer said, “I’ve been skiing for as long as I can remember, and one of the greatest things about the sport is the fact that I’ve been able to meet plenty of new people and even travel to ski on more advanced hills. I’ve definitely gotten better with time and a lot of practice.”
With this season just beginning to kick off and the Winter Olympics right around the corner, winter sports are about to be back in the limelight of conversation. In February, the world’s best will compete head to head in both skiing and snowboarding, while come January, NRHS students, just as passionate about winter sports, will enjoy them at their own pace on an evening out with friends. Whether it be for the socialization and hot cocoa in the cold weather, or the shear experience of watching a sunset as one races down a freshly blanketed hill, winter sports deserve a great amount of recognition as they truly offer each athlete an experience they will never forget.
Carolyn Bajzer is a senior and part time student at CVCC. She has a passion for media production and an inquisitive outlook on the world. Her hobbies include photography, filmmaking, writing, skiing, and acting. In her free time she can be found listening to music, experimenting with Photoshop, taking photos, reading/writing poetry, or hanging with friends. After graduation, Carolyn plans to start fresh in a new city attending a school of her choice. Currently, Carolyn’s everchanging favorite quote is: “The wreckage of stars – I built a world from this wreckage” from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche ‘Through the Circle of Dionysian Dithyrambs.’