Nothing happens in a bubble. Even as over a foot of snow falls to cover Killington in a much needed blanket of white and we enjoy the fun of powder skiing this week, I cannot help but think about the chaos that has embraced our nation over the most recent election. Over the past 18 months, the increase in public displays of misogyny have left many women feeling depressed and frightened, as if the ascension of this new President will return the United States to the eras of smelling salts or poodle skirts.
But this weekend, the best women skiers in the world will gather in Killington. They are coming to compete, to watch the race with their mothers, daughters and ski sisters, to celebrate women in skiing and in athletics. This past week has been filled with revelation amongst my ski sisters on the hill: This weekend isn't just about the amazing sport of skiing - this will be the first international event in the United States to celebrate women athletes since the election. Even Michaela Shiffrin, the top ranked woman in slalom, was quoted in the Connecticut Post as saying: "My grandma, she is 95, I think is coming. I hope she will be able to go. That would be amazing." This event will showcase women performing at the highest level of competitive sport.
I'm not saying that one race can change the country, but it will sure as hell demonstrate to the young female skiers marching in the parade and watching the event both in person and on television, that women are strong, beautiful and intelligent. This race will show the women who fought for equal rights in the 70s that women do not see themselves as less than we are. But most importantly, it will demonstrate the sisterhood that is womanhood, skiing and athletics. I cannot wait to see all the women of all different ages gathered together this weekend in the celebration of women in skiing.
Now, I only ask one thing of you all this weekend. Take photos with your ski sisters and use the hashtag #skisisters to share them. Celebrate the sisterhood of skiing by taking lots of photos with your ski sisters. There will be pom pom hats, fur trimmed hoods, sequin neckies and crazy print pants in all the colors of the rainbow. There will be women dressed in Gore-Tex, Primaloft, Down and Wool. There will be former Olympians, future Olympians and just plain crazy dedicated not-so-ever Olympians who just love the sport of skiing. There will be women and girls everywhere.
And not one person will second guess our right to be there.
I'm not saying that one weekend of ski racing can change the country, but I can pretty much guarantee one thing about this upcoming weekend: You are going to see a lot of Pantsuits.
To all my ski sisters throughout the years who have made skiing so very special and shown me that women can ski - and be - anything,
May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,