A Pretentious And Negative Opinion -- READ -- "Skiing Still Bad" by Hannah Gold, from jezebel.com

Big Mountain Skiing - Credit: Robinseed [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

I have found that there are two types of people that do not like to ski. The first are the people the genuinely don't like to ski. To be more specific, people who have tried it and find that it isn't for them and that opinion isn't based on stereotyping or generalizing other skiers. The second are people who had a bad experience, usually as a kid, and never went back. They either got scared, cold, hurt, or any number of similar issues. Again, those people have their opinion based on experience and will own up to that.

For the article that we are going to discuss, this author, Hannah Gold (@togglecoat) was clearly part of that second group. She states very early on in the piece that she has an issue in North Carolina at a very young age. However, for the rest of the article, she goes on the talk about some of the bad things that have happened in skiing over the years, including the death of Sonny Bono in 1998 and the very recent lawsuit against Gwyneth Paltrow. But, the article really centers around the remarks that were recently made by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper.

First, the author is only dealing in negatives. I think we can all agree that a strong opinion can not be based only on the negatives. Skiing does have it shares of positives, which include yearly the industries contribution to sporting for the disabled and contributions to  the correction environmental issues. Beyond that, like the author's negative personal experience, there are so many of us that have had more positive experiences and we weight those positive experiences over the negative that we have all had. I have had my share of injuries and cold days, but I would never say that those are the only experiences that I have had.

Second, the author speaks in a very general way. One could infer from her article that we are all overly entitled, spoiled elitists. Anyone who has participated in skiing or snowboarding more than once as a child knows that is far from the truth. I will grant that those people do have a large presence in the ski world, but they are not the only people that go out on the hills each year. There is a huge range of people from the dirtbags to the elitists. Again, one would have to have tried the sport more than once to get to know anyone outside the stereotypes.

Now, with that said, we come to the real point that the author was trying to make. It is clear that she was offended by the remarks of FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. It is true, he did make remarks about the validity of climate change and about going to countries that are under a dictatorship. I will be honest in saying that I have no idea the context in which he was making these remarks. In his apology he said they were not to be taken seriously. That may or may not be true. However, the author was clearly offended by these remarks, which was her actual point.

All that being said, it would be honest to say that I took what Hannah Gold said a little personally for a few different reasons. It mostly stems from the idea that if a person is going to tear something down or form an opinion on it, then that person should know what they are talking about. Her lack of knowledge on the subject is most evident when she states that Gian Franco Kasper represents skiing. He doesn't. He represents Gian Franco Kasper, which could be stretched to say he represents the International Ski Federation. He doesn't represent any of the rest of us, from the athletes in the FIS to the simple corduroy cruisers who just want to take a lesson once in a while on the beginner slope to anyone in between.

In the end, she and I have differing opinions on sports like skiing and snowboarding. The biggest difference is that I can base anything I say on a knowledge of those sports and the people who participate in them. I also do not judge or generalize when it comes to anything, whether it is skiing, politics, entertainment, or what I might have for lunch. To do so would not only make me a poor writer, but a poor person as well.

For the article that I spoke about, you can follow the link here. If you wish, you can have an open conversation or debate on the subject here or on the Ski Rex Facebook page.

The Case Against Skiing Is Growing Mountainous

The anecdotal evidence that skiing is bad has been mounting ever since I had to be pulled down a frosted North Carolinian precipice by an instructor on my first and only ski excursion after a pouty hour spent refusing to move. I was nine? And prone to surrendering my will with terrible timing, but still.


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