I used to be a Ski Patroller here in Minnesota, and loved my service there. Without the Ski Patrol, believe me, no ski area anywhere would run. During my time, I knew men and women who went to other Ski Areas, other States, and other Nations to serve on their Patrol. Some were regular citizens, some military families. Most were volunteer, a few became Professional Patrollers.
And then, when the Olympics came to Salt Lake City, some of my fellow Patrollers went out West to be a part of the Games.
I remember receiving the letter under the National Ski Patrol letterhead, and reading it in excitement...but I didn't have the time or the money to go. I wanted to serve my country and all nations, but I didn't have the money or the time to offer during those two weeks. In abject disappointment, I threw the letter away, knowing it wasn't to be. Not for me.
These were regular everyday people, volunteer Ski Patrollers who weren't offered any perks for their service in the Olympics. They had to pay their own way, they had to fork over the outrageous amounts of money for hotel rooms, for food, and they were not given a preference for their obviously-favorite sport: downhill skiing. Nor did they even have the time to ski THEMSELVES while in the Olympic venue! Rather, they volunteered all that they had to be placed at the mercy of the Games, and there, they happily served.
The fact that this is the reality of the volunteers at the Olympic Games, and given that this year has begun with a fatality on the Luge course, I wonder if perhaps the different networks should finally call attention to those unsung souls who help to make the Olympics possible!
Portray the Ski Patrol especially as winter is their venue, then the other First Responders. Show how the Ski Patrol volunteers come from ALL the nations, are regular people, and what they sacrifice to be present at the Games, but more importantly, to give of themselves.
Tell THOSE stories. Without them, the athletes would not be able to compete. No one can deny the danger of these sporting events, especially this year.
It does not denigrate the Olympic Games or the Athletes themselves to reveal the very enthusiastic support they received from around the world: the normal, hidden men and women who are ready to pay great amounts in order not just to be present, but to WORK to ensure the safety of the Olympians!
I throw this challenge most especially to KARE11 a local network, an Olympic sponsor.
But I wonder if other networks are also interested, and so I call upon WCCO, KSTP and FOX9!
I went to both the general and local Olympics websites through NBC and found no way to suggest a story in any realistic manner.. I hope, then, that this blog post might be effective given the fact I know for a FACT that each network peruses the internet for mentions of their own sites.
(HINT: This is FREE sponsorship!)
Consider this, then, to be a formal request:
Talk about their own training, sacrifice, and the reality of the unity of the Ski Patrol throughout the world. Talk about how they came to serve at the Olympics this year, in Vancouver.
That's a background story worth watching, one to appeal to everyone, even the most average skier....and what a way to participate in history!
Please...someone publicize this story?
It's one worth telling, and the men and women I know who begin to and continue to serve as Ski Patrollers deserve the recognition. They are, in fact, the unsung heroes of these Games, and ALL Olympic games, in every venue!
Please make the crickets stop!