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Penny Pitou graces Thomas Barbeau Training Center inaugural event

WATERVILLE VALLEY — On Friday, January 17 Olympian Penny Pitou graced the inaugural event at the still-under-construction Thomas Barbeau Training Center. Pitou, a double silver medalist at the Squaw Valley Olympics in 1960 was an energetic, funny, honest and exceptionally engaging speaker. Accompanied by clips of her at the games in 1960, she shared the realities of medaling at a downhill over 50 years ago. Still showing the grit and determination that propelled her to Olympic stardom, she explained the challenges and, more importantly, the opportunities skiing presented her in 1960, and every year since then.

Grooming? Try a bicycle with some chains attached. Helmets? A leather hat with ear flaps. $3,000 skis? Hers cost $27! How times have changed and how training philosophies have progressed.

Surrounded by friends old and new, Pitou shared stories of traveling unaccompanied through Europe as a young woman. She spoke of her pride in the skiing legacy that she represents as manifested in her son, Christian a member of the BBTS Board and her three grandchildren, Dylan; a BBTS coach, Zane, a Waterville Valley Academy (WVA) U14 Alpine racer and Zoe, a WVA U12 Alpine racer.

In reminiscing about her early days skiing in New Hampshire she related this story and her actions years later to make sure other young girls could follow their dreams.

"I was on the freshman ski team at Laconia High School. I loved to jump and I was a very good jumper. So I joined the team as a 3-event "man." I was a jumper, downhill and slalom. Of course there were no girls on the team in those days, so I disguised myself as a boy and asked the kids to call me "Tommy." I put my hair under my hat and I competed and did quite well for the team. I was second "man" on the team. Until one day at New Hampton School I was in a GS, I was skiing as fast as I could go and I caught an edge and I crashed. It was a big crash, my hat fell off, my hair fell out and the gate-keeper looked down and said, "Oh my God, it's a girl!" Well, two weeks later, the principal of my high school called me in and said I was off the team because I had been discovered as a girl.

Eight years later, I was seething about this for several years, a local girl came up to me crying and I said, "What's the matter?" She said. "They won't let me play baseball because I'm a girl." Well, boy the fury came right to the top again. I said, "Come with me." We marched down to the field and went to the first guy I could find and I said, "This is Amy Richardson, she wants to play ball. " He said, "She can't, she's a girl." My reply was, "Then I'll start my own girls team." He told me nobody would show up. Well, 65 little girls showed up the first day, with their fathers and their mothers and that was the beginning of girls baseball in Gilford. It was a little bit of a payback. Felt very good about that! Some of us were just born too early, you know 20-30 years before Title 9."

Over 75 folks braved the cold and ice to make the first event in the Thomas Barbeau Training Center an evening to remember. Food, music and a video honoring current Olympian, Hannah Kearney rounded out the evening. This video, one of Liberty Mutual's Responsibility Project, was partly filmed at BBTS and the Waterville Valley resort. It featured several BBTS and WVA athletes who were understandably thrilled to spend the day the Vancouver gold medalist and medal-contender for the upcoming Sochi games. Kearney, a former BBTS athlete is also a WVBBTS / SEF Board member.

The third honoree of the evening was Alpine Director and Head U16 coach, Tom Barbeau.

According to CEO, Peter Stokloza, "Tom has been an integral part of BBTS for almost 30 years. His mastery of the Burdenko Method, as developed by PhD Russian Sports scientist Igor Burdenko, provides our athletes with the opportunity to dramatically improve six essential abilities – balance, flexibility, coordination, endurance, speed and strength. The new training center will have a dedicated Burdenko workout gym as well as two in-ground trampolines, a tuning room, and a video review and conference room plus support facilities. We are proud to name it after Tom!"

With 100% Board participation, WVBBTS is still seeking donations to complete the project. For more info, contact Krista Katz, Director of Advancement at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (603) 236-4246.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:24

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Waterville Goes Pink with Boarding for Breast Cancer

WATERVILLE VALLEY — During the past 8 years, Waterville Valley Resort has raised over $38,000 in support of Boarding For Breast Cancer over Super Bowl weekend.

The event will take place again this year on February 1-2 and will include a product raffle and Pink Rail Jam. Skiers can show their support by coming out to the mountain and purchasing a pink Waterville logo sticker or honor someone you know by naming a pink ribbon for them at Guest Services on the second floor of the Base Lodge. Stickers will be sold at the Ticket Office and Guest Services for $2 each and pink ribbons can be bought for $1.

While at the mountain, stop by the Sunroom on the second floor of the Base Lodge to take your chances on some great products that are up for grabs in the Pink Raffle. Jackets, snowboards, helmets, and other gear from all the sponsors who made this possible will be raffled off on Sunday at 3 p.m. Guests do not need to be present to win.

Sponsors of this year's event inc; The Snowboard Shack, Buchikas Ski & Bike, Skullcandy, bern Unlimited, Burton Snowboards, Salomon, Bonfire, Volcom, Neff, Stance, Lazer Helmets, Oakley, O'Neill Outerwear, Nomis, and the Town Square Businesses; Dreams & Visions, Bookmonger, Coyote Grill, Waterville Valley Reality, The Lantern, and Legends.

For riders and skiers who are ready to hit the park a donation of $25 can be made by registering for the Pink Rail Jam. Registration is in the Base Lodge Sunroom from 8 – 10 a.m. The competition will start at noon and will be held in Exhibition Terrain Park.

Waterville Valley Resort offers 220 skiable acres and is New Hampshire's Family Resort. The ski area peaks at 4,004 feet with a vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 50 trails and 11 lifts.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:16

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Plymouth writer Joe Monninger previews his work-in-progress based on an Irish myth

PLYMOUTH — Pease Public Library will present Joseph Monninger, author of more than twenty novels and professor at Plymouth State University discussing his current work-in-progress on Tuesday, February 4 at 7 p.m. in the library's Community Room. Because he has published novels in five decades, Monninger will also speak about the change in the publishing world, the use of a penname, and the effect of myth on story.

On a trip to Gili, Indonesia – one of the settings for his best-known novel, Eternal on the Water, Joseph Monninger first encountered the Irish folk tale of Tir na nOg. It is the story of Oisin (a human hero) and Niamh (a woman of the otherworld) and their life and love on a magical island. Now he has taken the story and written it for a modern audience and has also used it as the framework for an historical novel set at the prisoner of war camp in Stark, New Hampshire during World War II.

The novel, The Major's Daughter, will be published in July 2014 under the penname, J.P. Francis. His modern telling of Tir na nOg is now available to read, either electronically or in print, from Pease Public Library. The PDF of the script can be downloaded from www.peasepubliclibrary.org, or, alternatively, a paper copy can be signed out at the library desk. Attendees are encouraged to read the text before the presentation. This program will be of interest to writers as well as those who enjoy reading Monninger's work.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:12

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Congresswoman Annie Kuster Visits ECP

PLYMOUTH — 2nd District Congresswoman Annie Kuster toured the Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP) January 22 and said it's a great example of a partnership creating economic opportunity in New Hampshire.

The ECP, located at One Bridge Street, is a business incubator and accelerator whose goal is to support entrepreneurship, small businesses, and economic development in central New Hampshire. Currently there are seven tenants in the building, which opened last October. The ECP is a model of educational and public collaboration.

The Grafton County Economic Development Council (GCEDC) built the facility using federal, state and corporate funding; PSU provides incubator staffing, business services and intellectual capital through the College of Business Administration. Essentially, the ECP provides a "one stop shopping" location for businesses throughout the region seeking advice and counseling, services, leased space, mentoring, and networking.

Kuster pledged to assist the local business and education leaders meeting her at the ECP. "We want to be a part of this going forward and to help you grow and thrive," said Kuster. "This is such a fabulous opportunity and you're all to be commended for bringing people together to get things done the New Hampshire way."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:08

Hits: 137

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