When I was 11 years old I was lucky to have my parents take
me to several competition events at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid New York. One of the events I attended was the Men’s
Slalom where I watched Phil Maher win the Gold medal. It is incredible being so close to an event
like that, the speed the racers travel at it remarkable.
After the race everyone left the ski area but my family was
still hanging out at the base of the ski area.
There was no one out there except my family. Suddenly Phil Maher walked out to where we
were standing so it was just my family and Phil. I walked over and asked him to autograph the
back of my ticket and congratulated him.
As soon as he finished an announcement over the speakers alerted the
press that he was available for interviews and photos. 15 seconds later the volume of press forced
us to retreat but a 11year olds day had been made.
Many years later I was driving airport shuttles to Park City
when guess who got on my van, Phil Maher.
I had a nice conversation and told him my story; he smiled as he thought
back to that victory.