Racers, families bring a world of different perspectives to the World Championships
VAIL — Besides world champion skiers, if you’re lucky you’ll also meet some world champion ski parents.
Marguerite and Max Arbez are from Ireland, and right now they’ve been away from Ireland for a long time.
But their Irish eyes are smiling as they watch their two children, Tess, 17, and Maxime, 18, doing everything they possibly can to qualify for this week’s slalom and giant slalom in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Tess and Maxime ski for Ireland.
On the day we met them, Marguerite and Max were in Redtail Finish Stadium watching the men’s super-G and the women’s downhill training.
The kids aren’t watching much of the races. They were training in Vail and on Spruce Face in Beaver Creek.
Marguerite and Max are watching the races, and if fortune smiles on their children they’ll get to watch their children race in a World Championships final.
No teams are guaranteed a spot in this week’s World Championships events. The fastest skiers race. That’s it.
The top 50 individuals get a spot. The next 50 are fought over one gate at a time.
Go fast enough and you’re skiing in the World Championships. If you don’t, then you go home, or wherever the World Cup snow circus heads to next.
Marguerite and Max have been here since last Sunday. They’ll be here through Sunday. That’s a lot of bleacher time, but they say they wouldn’t trade it.
Ask Marguerite whether it’s worth it and she’ll smile a mom smile.
Ask Max and you’ll get a dad answer. He’s a businessman, so he begins with the travel, the time, the expense, the gear … but then he smiles a dad smile and talks about how much fun it is.
“It’s lots of work, but we must support our kids in whatever they choose to do,” he said. “We must be behind them, and they must know we are.”
Before Beaver Creek they were in Austria. From here they’ll head to the next stop on the tour.
Tess and Maxime train in France. Ireland doesn’t have much of a thriving ski industry.
They’ve been skiing since they were about 3 years old, and they’ll probably race until they go to university, Marguerite said.
Ukrainian racers keep one eye on home
It’s a much different for Ukrainian racers Dmytro Mytsak and Bogdana Matsotska.
Dmytro Mytsak already qualified for this week’s giant slalom and is trying to qualify for the men’s slalom.
Matsotska said they paid their own way to Vail/Beaver Creek for the World Championships.
“It is very expensive,” she said.
Their families and friends remain home in Ukraine, where the fighting continues. European leaders are trying to grind out a last ditch peace agreement.
“We’re checking the news all the time,” Mytsak said. “You feel it inside.
Mytsak was born Nov. 8, 1995, in Boryslav, Ukraine. He competed for Ukraine in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and now he’s here.
So is Matsotska. Her stand in Sochi put her in the spotlight when she pulled out of those Olympics, in support of those fighting and dying in her native Ukraine.
“I don’t want to participate when in my country people die,” Matsotska told the Associated Press at the time.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and email@example.com.
Vail Mountain opens Nov. 15, about a week earlier than normal. But that earlier opening will be out of Vail Village, not Lionshead.