MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For winter sports lovers, so far this season has been less than ideal. But, the mild weather has provided a perfect classroom for some kids for whom skiing is a pretty new idea.
“A lot of the kids who live around Theodore Wirth Park maybe come from cultural or socio-economic backgrounds where they may not have been previously exposed to skiing,” said Ingrid Remak, outreach coordinator for the Nordic Ski Foundation.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: UK Variant Outbreak Linked To Youth Sports In Carver County, Officials Recommend 2-Week Pause
Raequan Wilson is one of those kids. Up until a year ago, he wasn’t big into sports, let alone cross country skiing.
“Loppet Ski Foundation came to my school, so I just signed up,” said Wilson.
The Nordic Ski Foundation brings their program into area middle schools, offering a chance to try something new. Now kids like Raequan can ski and train year-round for free as a member of the Anwatin ski team.
“The idea is to introduce kids at a younger age to skiing,” said Remak. “So they really have potential to grow & develop as athletes.”READ MORE: More Than 1 Million Wisconsin Residents Have Been Vaccinated
It’s not always an easy sell, though. For a lot of the kids in the program, skiing is something their families know nothing about. In fact, there’s a large group of Hmong kids involved in the program, who’ve run into a rather unique hurdle.
“There’s no word in Hmong for cross country skiing,” said Remak.
That’ll happen when you don’t have a word for snow. No problem, the kids just made up a word “gei-snow.”
“It translates into riding snow,” said Remak.MORE NEWS: Faces Of COVID: Daryl Kruger, 82, Loved His Grandkids And The MN Twins
And on a sunny day in January, there’s not a lot of things better than riding snow.