Reaching new heights: Drew Hauser gets his day
By Bryce Evans
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Silverthorne’s Drew Hauser takes to the air in the U.S. Telemark National Championships earlier this month. Hauser won the national title, as well as the World Junior title,this season. For his accomplishments, the Silverthorne Town Council declared Sunday to be “Drew Hauser Day.” Special to the Daily Drew Hauser should be able to do whatever he wants on Sunday.
“It’s my day,” the 19-year-old said with a laugh.
Though he said it as a joke, he wasn’t exactly kidding.
Sunday, March 29, 2009, was proclaimed Drew Hauser Day in Silverthorne by the Town Council.
“We like to recognize people in our community who do outstanding stuff,” Silverthorne Mayor Dave Koop said.
And “outstanding stuff” would be the perfect way to sum up Hauser’s winter on telemark skis. The Silverthorne native won both the World Junior Championships in Austria and the U.S. National Championships in Steamboat Springs this season.
His success wasn’t much of a surprise for him, as winning both races was his preseason goal, but having a day dedicated to him in his hometown?
“I thought that it was hilarious, at first,” Hauser said. “I mean, you never expect something like that.”
Koop was the person who came up with the idea for the proclamation. With Hauser on the road for races all winter, the mayor had trouble figuring out a way to make sure Hauser’s accomplishments didn’t go unrecognized.
“We just could never pin him down in the county to do anything,” Koop relented.
So, Koop brought the idea for Drew Hauser Day to the Town Council, which overwhelmingly approved.
Wednesday, at the council’s meeting, Hauser was presented with the official proclamation certificate – which Koop called “suitable for hanging” – and a large, gold-plated key to the city.
“It doesn’t open anything,” Hauser joked. “It looks really cool, though, just this big over-sized key with ‘Silverthorne’ on it. It’s awesome.”
The honor, Koop said, is very “infrequent” for athletes, but, with all that Hauser’s done in his sport, it was a no-brainer to do it.
“What he did is not a fluke, not a flash in the pan,” Koop said. “He’s a great skier and has worked extremely hard for all he’s accomplished. … Everyone can ski recreationally, but, for his caliber, you don’t just wake up and say, ‘I’m going to win the Junior Worlds.'”
In fact, the level that Hauser reached in telemark skiing was more than eight years in the making. At age 11, Hauser first strapped into tele bindings, following in the footsteps of his father, Tory, who was a top skier on the U.S. Telemark Ski Team in the 1980s and 90s. Tory helped guide his son – though never pushed him, Drew is quick to point out – into arguably the nation’s top telemark skier. His father was on hand, working with the national team, when Hauser claimed the gold medal in Austria in January.
“Being a world champion is a very special thing,” his father said at the time. “It’s something that I’d love to have had the talent to do.”
A little more than a month later, Hauser traveled to Steamboat and narrowly beat out Shane Anderson for the men’s national title.
“It just feels fantastic,” Hauser said of checking off both of his goals for the season. “It’s been
a great year.”
Hauser said that the season was made extra special because of the fact that it will likely be his last year dedicated solely to skiing. Next fall, the 2007 Summit High graduate will attend University of Nevada, Reno.
He isn’t sure how much he will race in the upcoming years – especially with telemark skiing being left out of the Olympics, once again – but with the telemark World Cup circuit adding races in Steamboat, Loveland and his home mountain of Keystone, Hauser said that he’ll definitely still get out there and compete.
“I’ve got to defend my home turf,” Hauser said. “It’ll be harder with school, but I’m so excited that we finally got some races here (in the United States).”
Though his future on telemark skis may not be set in writing, his accomplishments, by virtue of the Silverthorne Town Council, now have been.
Although, the question still looms – what is Drew Hauser going to do on Drew Hauser Day?
“I’m going to be in the car, driving back from the last race of the season in Montana,” Hauser said, laughing. “I don’t even get to be there for my own day.”
Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at email@example.com.