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One year at the birkie sprints, Stan became our sentimental favorite to
root for. He stood out as the only unaffiliated skier to make the later
rounds. In the final, his pole shaft pulled out of his grip right at
the half way point turn around. He came on strong and almost won the
The next year, we got a call from across the lake that Stan was staying
with our friend's boss and needed an iron since he had forgotten his
power converter. Stan was traveling alone and was his own support and
waxing team. I lent my iron. After being eliminated from the race, I
conversed with him in my halting german. Congratulated him on his race,
though he was visibly disappointed. Wished him luck in the birkie and
asked him the autograph my iron. I wasn't sure if he understood
anything I was trying to say, but he was polite all the same.
That was the year of the heavy dump of snow the night before the birkie.
The elites were faced with an ungroomed trail. Stan really suffered,
being a bigger guy with a huge long stroke. I think the conditions
favored the Italians more that year (but since they have been winning
all the races, you could argue the conditions don't matter). I heard
that Stan really suffered in that race, even having to stop a few times
I did get the autograph as requested. When I got home, I went to one of
the local shops with my story and the iron to show and tell. It seemed
no one really cared about the autograph then. Maybe there is more
interest in the story this year?
Cool! I suppose he's still a solo operator. What a great result! 2nd
overall at the Birkie.
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