I'm very excited to let you know that Peter Ashley (the Head of Fischer XC) will be in Traverse City on Friday, November 1st to do a "History Lesson" about Skate Skiing (FYI: he was the Olympic Coach when it all started).
I've secured a hall at the Grand Traverse Resort, directly across from registration of The Ice Man Mountain Bike Race and would love to "fill the room" for this very cool hour long presentation. Below is an overview of Peter' Ashley's presentation, Friday, November 1st at 5:00 PM at the Grand Traverse Resort based on an article in FasterSkier by Nancy Fiddler.
Peter Ashley is “Mr. Fischer” in the United States. For over 18 years, he has been vice president of the nordic division at Fischer Skis. He is responsible for everything that has to do with Fischer Nordic USA: ski selection, pricing, marketing, reps, budget, and more.
He graduated from the Universtiy of Colorado in 1974 with a degree in finance, the same year that fiberglass skis were introduced, Ashley returned to Jackson Hole to try his hand at coaching. He got his feet wet coaching juniors for four years as head coach of JHSC, the beginning of a 12-year run of coaching that took him all the way to the U.S. Ski Team.
As the women’s coach for the U.S. Ski Team (USST) from 1984-85, Ashley was in the thick of this historical debate over skating. Cross-country skiers had been experimenting with skating for a couple of years.
The 35th Nordic World Ski Championships in 1985 in Seefeld, Austria was the first time skating was allowed at a World Championships. According to Ashley, the way it finally went down was with a nations’ meeting where a vote would temporary prohibit skating in Seefeld. A unanimous vote was required. All it took was a single “no” vote from the Australians, and the rest is history. But snow conditions on the Seefeld courses contributing to the decision by some teams to abandon kick wax entirely...