Sports brief: Telemarkers meet Colorado Governor

Pictured from left are state Rep. Randy Baumgardner, Steamboat Springs High School students Ben Paley and Lorin Paley; Drew Hauser, of Silverthorne; Gov. Bill Ritter; and state Sen. Al White. The Paleys visited the state Capitol in Denver on Thursday in recognition of their telemark talents.  Craig Bannister/courtesy
By Joel Reichenberger
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Friday, April 17, 2009

Steamboat Springs High School students Lorin Paley and Ben Paley met with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and several other prominent state politicians Thursday, the first time either had rubbed elbows with the state’s big wigs.

Things weren’t “business as usual” for the politicians, either, as they recognized the Paleys among some of the nation’s most talented telemark skiers.

Turns out, they all had a little learning to do when it comes to competitive telemark skiing.

“We taught them what all the different aspects of our sport are,” Ben Paley said.

The Steamboat duo earned a trip to the governor’s office thanks to top-tier performances this winter on the telemark skiing circuit.

Lorin Paley won two events and finished second overall in the U.S. Telemark National Championships in late February and early March in Steamboat Springs.

She also won two events in the Telemark Junior World Championships and again earned an overall second-place finish.

Ben Paley, meanwhile, was third overall at the National Championships.

The pair was joined in the visit by Silverthorne-based telemark skier Drew Hauser.

“These three young skiers have shown exceptional poise and remarkable skill to achieve this level of success,” Ritter said in a statement. “All of Colorado is extremely proud of their performances on the world stage in Europe and at the National Championships. Congratulations to Drew, Lorin and Ben. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of their accomplishments in the years to come.”

The Steamboat skiers also met state Sen. Al White and state Rep. Randy Baumgardner, and they presented Ritter with a Steamboat Ski Area jacket and a bag of SmartWool gifts.

“It was great. It was fun,” Lorin Paley said. (Gov. Ritter) “is a really cool guy.”

was a real positive experience. They did a real nice job.”