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“Who is that guy that keeps going up and down the mountain?” I said.
“Him, there is one of the best skiers I have seen in a long time, the names Kyle.” Someone said.
“Oh really? Why do you say that? What can he do?” I asked.
“The boy spends all day up on that hill and does jumps, spins, dives, dodges, and dips. He loves it more than women. It is unbelievable just watching him.” A friend of Kyles said.
“I want to meet this kid, if that’s possible” I wondered.
“Sure, just might take him awhile to make his way down off the hill, why don’t you relax and have a drink?” the owner of the restaurant said.
“All right, I’ll take water.” I said.
****3 hours later****
“We’ll look who the ski bunnies dragged in, why it’s Kyle Nelson!” The owner said loudly. “Kyle there is a dude here who wants to meet you for some reason.” He said.
“It’s the mountain patrol man! RUN! Your jumps were too high and came in too fast!” Kyle’s friend said sarcastically.
“Ha funny Chunk, better not be one of your so called “hot” friends you made me meet last week. Because she was…well we shall keep that on the down low.” Kyle said, trying not to laugh.
“Actually, I’m not the ski patrol or a pretty girl. I am Travis Miller, the Men’s Olympic ski coach for the USA team.” I said.
“Well I think your pretty cute, cuter than most.” Chunk said.
“Shut up Chunk!” Kyle yelled.” Nice to meet you sir, I’m Kyle Nelson.” Kyle said nervously.
“From what I hear, you spend time on this here hill than you do with girl’s son.” I said.
“Well looks like you’ve met chunk, that little punk. But yeah, I guess you could say I’m pretty good.” Kyle said.
“Well I would like you to come and practice with me and my team, if you’re willing to leave your mountain that is.” I asked.
“I’ll be there.” Kyle said quickly.
Now that’s the first time I met Kyle Nelson, and right away I knew he was a winner. From what I saw, the kid has the potential to win every skiing event in the winter Olympics. He is tough, fast, smart, and most of all, swift. Even though he has a lot of work to do, the kids got talent.
****A month later****
“Welcome to training camp Kyle!” I said, as Kyle walked into the team room.
“Happy to be here sir.” Kyle said.
“You can call me Coach Miller young man.” I said. “Let’s get started ladies.”
****Month 1 is over****
Right as the kid hit the slopes, my mouth dropped. I said to myself that he is going to be the best in the world. Not one single person knows about this kid yet. I brought him in after a month’s worth of practice and I just asked him a few questions:
“So, how do you like the team so far?” I asked.
“Love it, the guys are great, the weathers good, and of course, the food.” Kyle said.
“Awesome, glad to hear that. So are you going to go through with this son? I asked.
“100% yes sir. I love to ski and I want to help my country win. I think we can sir.” Kyle replied.
“That’s all I need to hear son, welcome again to the team.” I said.
Now what really got me and to this day gives me shivers is what he said to me as he walked out of my office. The kid stands up and starts to walk away. After a few steps he turns back and says, ‘Coach, I want to be known, I want to be heard, and I want to be the best. If you would help me along the way, I promise I will fight with every bone in my body to be the best I can be every day.” And he just turns and walks away without giving me anytime to say something in return.
****3 months until Winter Olympics****
September 24, 2009:
TODAY, USA SKIIER, KYLE NELSON BREAKS LEG AND TWO BONES IN HIS HAND DURING PRACTICE.
Those are what the headlines on every news channel in the country said today. The team took the day off to go visit Kyle and his family in the hospital. Once the team left, I stayed a little bit after and talked to the family and the doctor. I admit, it is one of the few times in my life that I was scared.
“How bad is it doc?” I asked.
“Well coach, it’s not good. He clearly snapped his tibia and also his wrist in two different spots.” The doc said.
“How long is it till he can get up and start walking again?”I asked.
“About a month until he can walk again, that’s with physical therapy. Two months till he can probably ski again.”
“Thanks doc.” I said.
After Kyle heard the doctor say two months until he can ski again, he completely shut down. For the next two weeks he didn’t say a word to anyone except his physical trainer. I feel his pain and I know that it is hard for him right now.
****1 month after the accident****
I am going to go in a talk to Kyle today, even if he sits there like he is dead. I need to say something to him.
“Kyle? Can I come in?” I asked.
“Yeah coach.” He said.
“Doctor said you’re improving fast and you can almost run. That’s good isn’t it?” I asked.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Kyle said.
I started watching what the kid had on TV, some black, tall, handsome fella named will smith. Funny character. Just then Kyle started saying something.
“Coach, you know I am going to ski in those games, right?”
As he was saying this he started to tear up.
“I know you are son, I am not going to let you stand by and watch.” I said. “Over the past few months I grown to love you and just want the best for you. I am not going to let those Canadian queers beat us. We need you; you’re the one who holds this team together and honestly, the best one out there. We need you Kyle. Don’t quit on us now.”
All I see is him getting out of bed, walking over to me and giving me a great big hug.
****1 month until Winter Olympics****
“How’d your first run go kid?” I asked.
“It hurts, but not enough to stop me from competing.” Kyle replied.
“Alright, go do another run then.” I said. “Make sure you ice and take your pills after then.” I said to him.
“Yes sir.” He said.
Those days were filled with sweat, blood, tears, and joy. Wake up, breakfast, physical therapy, ski, lunch, ski, physical therapy, ski, dinner, ski, bed. That was his schedule and mine, for the next month. That kid worked his ass off to feel normal again. Yet, he never got to 100 percent, he still was the best. Want to know what the headlines for the nation news were this week?
USA TEAMMEMBER, KYLE NELSON IS TO COMPETE IN THE OYLIMPIC GAMES. GOING UP AGIANIST NUMBER ONE RANKED SKIIER FROM CANADA, STEVEN CROSBY IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS EVENTS. KYLE IS TO DO 5 EVENTS.
****WINTER OYLIMPICS BEGIN****
These next few weeks were the most nervous I had been in ages. I am old too. But nothing compares to now. Kyles events were the moguls, then the two jumping events, cross country skiing, and speed skiing. Kyle lost to Steven Crosby in every single race but one, the speed skiing. Some blame it on the leg or the wrist. Some say it was a miracle. I don’t say anything, because without that one win, we never would have won the Winter Olympics.
****Next day headlines****
TEAM USA WINS WINTER OLYMPICS! COMES DOWN TO FINAL EVENT, SPEED SKIING. WHERE KYLE NELSON TAKES HOME THE GOLD AND CARRIES HIS TEAM TO VICTORY!
He got some snow bunnies after that one…