From Del Walters, Ebony/Jet Magazine:
On Saturday, February 13th, while most of Washington and the surrounding area found themselves digging out from underneath mountains of snow, Michelle Obama, with her two daughters Sasha and Malia in tow, took to a different type of mountain. Flanked by the secret service, the first lady, first daughters, and their friends spent six hours privately skiing at Ski Liberty one of three slopes located just a stones throw from Camp David. It is the type of event that the paparazzi, especially those of us in the African American press like to document. The problem is, no one without the full weight and might of the United States government at its disposal could move that weekend and so the event went largely unnoticed. There was a small blurb in the Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania newspaper but outside of that, nothing.
What made the event significant is this. For years, skiing has been largely considered a ‘Whites only’ sport. For proof all you need do is to check out the winter Olympics. Without Shani Davis, the lone African American gold and silver medalist in the field of speed skating the Olympics and other winter sporting events would be almost all white.
Here’s what made the visit by the first lady and her daughters so important. To begin with, it signaled a seismic shift in attitudes. ‘Black Ski’ as it has been known for years, takes place in such posh resorts as Vail, and Aspen. This year the Black Ski Summit will take place in Snowmass Colorado. 75 different ski clubs from all over the world will participate, with thousands of skiers attending. But will they be able to brag about the first family gracing their slopes? Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop are three resorts that are within a stones throw from Washington D.C. For years, the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara frequented the mountains, but this time it was a different set of first daughters making their way through the moguls. This year the planets quietly aligned in a different set of mountains, and they are celebrating.
The National Brotherhood of Skiers, Inc. (NBS) was founded in 1973 and chartered in 1974 by 13 African American ski clubs across the nation. Today, NBS clubs are divided into four geographic regions – Eastern, Midwest, Rocky Mountain and Western. With a membership of more than 10,000 adults and youth, the NBS is recognized as one the nation’s largest ski organizations.
“Feel the Spirit!” is the theme for the NBS Summit from Saturday, February 27 – March 6, 2010. Snowmass, Colorado is the location.
Continue to the full article at the Ebony/Jet Magazine website.