Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Brian Olsen Olympic skier

I was looking through some old pictures the other day doing some cleaning and ran into the photo of Brian waxing his skis in the Rossignol Nordic Racing Team room in the old Rossignol building in Burlington, VT. It made me smile. One of the last few years I lived in VT I had to rent an apartment and did not know anybody that had a spare room at the time so I threw myself to the wind and grabbed an old house with three rooms, one person was there already, a cool girl, me and then we had to advertise for another roomate. About two days later we had Brian show up. Totally random. He said he was a skier, he also said he was from Duluth, MN. No shit huh, so I did the quick interview and realized that he was the real deal.

Man was he young (19)! We had a killer winter and it was fun to watch Brian get faster and gain confidence. The best part though was that while he was training and racing I was working at Rossignol with Jim Fredericks and also going to Film school so my schedule allowed me to ski pretty hard that winter and a good winter it was. Some nights we would both come home carrying ski bags and wet, wearing the days skiing on our backs and we would both discuss the days skiing, his shooting guns and gliding on the white velvet carpet that is world class grooming, and me shredding pow at Stowe or ski touring in the White Mountains. I think he was always curious and once the race season was over I was flattered when he asked if I would take him on a tour and teach him some backcountry skills. We ended up doing the Bolton to Trapps tour on really light gear, waxless race skis basically. Brian took a beating but by the end of the tour he had already figured it out and it was fun to watch his athleticism. He ended up getting hooked, I mean really hooked. He took ownership of the skis I lent him and used them all over the country and as I met Margaret and moved on with life, Brian kept his nose to the grind stone training like a banshee all the time, eating right and living the dream. Little did I know but he also kept skiing on those skis, eventually he made the Torino Team. After the games I spoke with him at the Summer OR show and he told me that he had actually brought those old skis to the Olympics and would warm up on them off trail, running through the woods, making tele turns while all the other athletes got all pumped and pysched out dealing with each other on the warm up trail. This image is funny as those skis were easy 25 year old Rossi tempo's that I found at thrift store for 5 bucks. Must have looked awesome in that world where everything is so polished and promoted for the world. Nice Work Brian. Brian is currently racing the World Cup in Europe. You can check him out at

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