Tele in 2002?
Free-Heelers to Lobby at the Great American Telemark Festival
Monday, March 2, 1998

Free-Heelin' in 2002?
Snowboarding, with its high dollar sponsorships and market boom craze, was a relative shoe-in for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. Telemark ski enthusiasts think they may have a harder time, but nevertheless have meticulously compiled evidence for their push for inclusion in the Salt Lake City, Utah 2002 Olympic Games.

As host, the Salt Lake Olympic Committee (SLOC) is permitted to choose a Cultural Event, formally known as a demonstration sport, to be introduced at the Games. The Utah based Wasatch Telemark, a non-profit telemark association, has approached the committee, thus originating the initiative to include telemark skiing in the 2002 Winter Games. The SLOC has apparently expressed interest.

At the national level, the United States Telemark Ski Association (USTSA) has contacted USOC representatives, and internationally, the telemark committee of the International Ski Federation (FIS) has been working to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of telemark's readiness and viability as an Olympic event.

The Great American Telemark Festival (GATF) in Salt Lake City, will be one of the biggest telemark displays in the history of telemark racing in the US. It is expected to attract 200 competitors from 20 countries which will set a new standard in world class telemark events. The event will include 1998 World Cup Telemark Races and the 1998 Telemark Masters World Championships.

The jury is still out on the outcome of the initiative, but the event will mean a throng of telemark enthusiasts in the host city garnering support for the sport's inclusion.

J. Scott McGee is an active Telemark Racer, a PSIA Examiner/Clinician for Track and Nordic Downhill, and a Telemark and Alpine Instructor at Solitude Ski Resort. He is also currently the President of the United States Telemark Ski Association, based in Salt Lake City.

Excerpts of this article reprinted with permission from Salt Lake City's Sports Guide , Volume 16, Issue 2, February, 1998.

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