Dear Mikaela, Lindsey, Stephanie, Laurie and/or any other Female U.S Olympic or Paralympic Alpine Ski Racer Willing to Pass Down Your GS Suit to a Six Year Old:
Forgive the first name basis, Ms. Shiffrin, Ms. Vonn, Ms. Jallen, and Ms. Stephens. You see, the other day my daughter asked me to write you a letter asking if– since the Olympics were over and the Paralympics just beginning, you would be willing to send her a GS suit if you weren’t needing it again. There are very powerful pieces to this request:
- My daughter believes that I am on a first name basis with athletes of your caliber, which clearly I’m not, but she believes I am, and that is totally cool.
- Little girls need big girls to look up too, and she was PUMPED watching you during the Olympics, and is equally excited to watch the Paralympic “ski racing ladies”.
- She wants your GS suit because she wants to go to the Olympics one day.
- We are a family who believes deeply in hand-me-downs so this is a natural request. “Mom, since they won’t need them anymore, maybe they will send one to me.”
- She is my daughter and if she believes I can make this happen, I will do my best to make it happen. We won’t be the family bidding on one at a ski auction for $1000 dollars or more.
Right now, she is content spending her weekends racing around with Loon Mountain’s Rutriders, the youngest ski racers learning fundamentals but mostly just having fun with her buddies on snow. However, after recently winning a small box of Skittles as a prize for conquering a limbo contest, she placed the box next to her trophy by her bedside. “Mom, do you know something?” she asked sleepily after a good day of skiing on the hill.
“What honey?” thinking she is going to tell me that her brother wronged her in some way, or an idea she has for tomorrow’s outing, or what she is looking forward to doing over our school vacation.
“Mom, I really love winning things.”
What does a mom say to that? “Well, that’s good to have a goal, Greta, but I also just really want you to have fun skiing or challenging yourself– it doesn’t always have to be about winning.” This is one of teachable parenting moments I’m supposed to crush like a seasoned professional– moments I’m sure your own parents had with you in the early years of ski racing.
“Mom, you know what else is really fun?”
“Winning is really fun.” Wish me luck with this one.
So, when my daughter, now 6.5 years old, tells people she may go to the Olympics or Paralympics one day, I fully believe her. She does not have a physical disability, but her dad is a mono- skier who was paralyzed a years ago, long before she was born. The way she sees it, if you work hard enough, you go to the Olympics. If you get hurt and still want to compete, you work enough and you to the Paralympics. Very clear in her mind.
So, her request is simple. Please send her a GS suit if you don’t need it any more. She has one right now that was handed down by another local ski racing family, and she loves it– wants to sleep in it. She even wants to ride her bike in it this spring thinking this will give her an advantage over her older brother who has a good 30 pounds on her. We live in a small town in the White Mountains of NH, and her dad, Geoff, is the technical training director of Loon Mountain’s Snow Sports School. I am a high school English teacher and love the idea of this letter reaching one or all of you somewhere in the world.
Her name is Greta Krill, and if you send it to the North Woodstock Post Office in North Woodstock, NH 03262 I’m certain our fabulous postmaster will make sure she gets it. Thank you for giving us so much to look forward to in this Olympics and the Paralympics beginning soon.
Heather Krill, mom of Greta, first grader