North Carolina

Excitement of Winter Olympics comes to Beech Mountain

BANNER ELK, N.C. -       Despite some of the winter woes we've been facing with slick roads and power outages recently, there are reasons to enjoy the season, including the Winter Olympics!

     With all the action set for Sochi next week, people in our area are getting in the spirit now.

     Gil Adams with Beech Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina says, "I know this happens every year when the Winter Olympics come, people get excited about skiing. And then with the kind of weather we've been having this winter, people are all excited."

     The Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is next Friday, and inspired skiers i our area are hitting the slopes.

     Fred Pfohl, a business owner for 35 years in the mountain community says, "With the good winter like we've had, we're at about almost 40 inches of snow so far for the season."

     And it's not just skiing, it's snowboarding, ice skating, luge, skeleton and much more. There's even some new events this year. According to Pfohl, "We're exposed a lot of different things these days. Like this year I think is the first year they have the jump for the ladies, and that's a big deal."

     But to get to the Olympic level, you have to start young, very young.

Debbie Parrott, a skier at Beech Mountain saw small kids on the slopes today. She says, "Who knows, there's somebody that's talented, and athletic and has the means and accessibility to be able to ski like this when they're that young, and then they have the greatest chance of ending up like that. So you never know, you might be seeing some future Olympians out here."

     And Beech Mountain is a good place to start. It's seen it's fair share of Olympians. After the 1968 Winter Games, the pro ski circuit came here, including the gold medalist from France.

     Adams recalls, "Jean-Claude Killy skied here at Beech Mountain, Moose Barrows - he was a hero of mine, Spider Savich skied here - they were all here skiing."

     And for those make their living from the slopes, the Olympics isn't just great fun, it's also great for local business. Pfohl says, "We'll probably see the results of it after the final ceremony - maybe the next week and weekend. We just think it's good for all of us that are in ski the business."

     You can watch the Winter Olympics right here on News 5 WCYB. Coverage begins on February 6th.

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