RUMFORD, Maine — The surviving members of the 1952 U.S. Olympic Nordic ski team will be honored when the NCAA skiing championships are held Wednesday through Friday in Maine.
Rumford’s Black Mountain is the site of this year’s cross country ski championships, to be held Thursday and Saturday. The Alpine competition will be held Wednesday and Friday at Sunday River in Newry.
Bates College of Lewiston is the host for the event.
As part of the festivities, the surviving members of the 1952 Olympic team will reunite in Rumford, where their Olympic journey began. The trials for those Olympics were moved to Rumford in the winter of 1951 because of a shortage of snow in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall, 89, remembers that the trials began and ended on a town street in front of Rumford’s old high school to determine who would compete in the Olympics, which were held in Oslo, Norway.
All of the team members are now in their 80s, said Broomhall, who skied until he was 80 and lives in Rumford.
“We’ve never been all together since we left Europe,” he said.
One of the team members has died, but the other seven are planning to travel to Rumford. A luncheon will be held in their honor.
Besides Broomhall, other team members planning to attend are John Burton of Minnetonka, Minn.; John Caldwell of Putney, Vt.; Ted Farwell and Paul Wegeman, both of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; George Hoveland of Duluth, Minn., and Tom Jacobs of Glens Falls, N.Y.
Colby, Bates in NCAA field
The NCAA Skiing Championships bring together the top programs in the country, regardless of division.
That places the likes of Bates and Colby College of Waterville against national powers, including defending champion University of Denver, Dartmouth and Colorado.
A total of 148 skiers (74 men, 74 women) from 22 teams coming from as far away as Alaska will take part in the competition. Colby and Bates each have placed five athletes in the championship field.
The event tends to feature an international flavor. Last year, there were only three Americans among the top 10 finishers in the 10K freestyle cross country race. Bates’ Sylvan Ellefson, who is now a senior, placed fourth in that event in 2008.
Sam Evans-Brown and Natalie Ruppertsburger are other Nordic hopefuls for the Bobcats. Liz Thompson of Rangeley will compete in the Alpine disciplines for the fourth consecutive year. Micaela Holland is the other slalom specialist.
Colby’s entrants include freshman Lucy Garrec of Freeport and Kathleen Maynard in cross country. They are joined by Alpine skiers Vincent Lebrun-Fortin, Emily Colin and Joshua Keeran.
Elise Moody-Roberts will represent Middlebury in the Nordic events, while Nils Koons of Sidney is a cross country racer for Dartmouth.