Zwahlen Memorial Not Just A Race
Werner Zwahlen believed that success is not only measured by results and talent; it is also measured by an individual’s choice to face one’s difficult challenges with courage and tenacity. Werner mentored and inspired several generations of skiers to develop their strengths and achieve goals on and off the race course they never thought possible. This Giant Slalom race honors Werner as young racers test their mettle on Upper Rum Runner and Coolidge.
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT A RACE – it is about the courage and spirit Werner Zwahlen lived on and off the race course. This legacy, I am told, continues to inspire and impact the lives of his coaches and the adult lives the skiers who trained his direction.
Werner Zwahlen Foundation Ski Education Scholarships Awarded.
Many of the young alpine racers and members of the Loon Race Team located at Loon Mountain, Lincoln, NH, also received well-earned awards at the annual end of the ski season banquet.
The Loon Race Team Philosophy is to encourage each racer to become the best person and off the hill.
Under the steady direction and care of Head Coach, Aaron Loukes, the team skied solid runs throughout the alpine race season to earn them several trophies.
Equally important, was his leadership to create a learning environment in which each athlete commits to self-growth through training and meeting the challenge of racing while keeping in mind the importance of participating within the team framework.
Various speakers and coaches gave evidence of this importance with stories of team members, who after crossing the finish line, stayed to cheer their team members skiing across the finish-line whether the racer finished in first place or last place. Good sportsmanship and character develop when encouraging each other is a team strength . It is the strong thread that knits a team together.
Our two sons grew up participating in alpine racing, so I remember the commitment of time and energy needed to support your children.
It was my pleasure and privilege to present two recipients with The Werner Zwahlen Ski Education Scholarship Award.
These athletes best emulated Werner’s courage, tenacity and faith, throughout his three-year race for life with esophageal cancer, a lethal competitor.
Courage, tenacity and faith are choices. Some young racers work hard and cross the finish line to medal, while other racers work equally hard to cross the finish-line repeatedly miss standing on the podium to receive a medal.
Racers experience challenges running gates difficult enough to tempt them to quit, but they choose to press on testifies to their courage.
Jerry Jenkins, a NY Times best-selling author said, “a young writer’s success depends on, humility, teach-ability, coach-ability, availability, and flexibility.”
Werner, I believe would agree with those “ilities,” as he believed success is not only measured by results and talent, it is also measured by an individual’s choice to find the courage, tenacity and faith to meet their challenges, develop one’s strengths and overcome one’s adversities.
The 2014 Werner Zwahlen Education Scholarship went to Dan O’Connor, a 9th grade student leader at his high school, who is an extremely hard worker. He never quits and is respectful of all is teammates and coaches. Congratulations Dan!
Samantha Jannsen’s also received The 2014 Werner Zwahlen Education Scholarship. Samantha new to the racing scene, joined Loon Race Team two years ago. Her coaches said of her, “She always has a positive attitude and strives to do her best.” Congratulations Samantha!
APRIL IS ESOPHAGEAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Norris Cotton Cancer Center & Boston Children’s Hospital Benefit From Loon Race Team’s Efforts. Over $10,000.00 Raised from the First Annual Ski-A-Thon Fundraiser, Carving for a Cure for Cancer, Held at Loon Mountain, Lincoln, NH,
IN MEMORY OF WERNER ZWAHLEN, WHO LOST HIS BATTLE WITH ESOPHAGEAL CANCER JUNE 27, 2003
The money will be shared with Norris Cotton Cancer Center At Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in memory of Werner Zwahlen, for esophageal cancer research. Werner was Alpine Director of Loon Race Team until his death.
In January 2003, Werner’s cancer returned. Because cancer invaded his vital organs and metastasized throughout his body, surgery was impossible. Along with the cancer’s return facing terminal resided in our lives. Werner chose to fight. Palliative chemotherapy bought time. At the end of the bad news session, he announced to his medical team crowded into the small exam room, “Tomorrow, I’m going skiing.”
Everyday, he skied. He headed for the mountain to work with his coaching staff and young racers. No one knew that underneath his ski clothes, his once strong athletic body weighed a scant 100 pounds. Remnants of steely muscle covered his bones, like loose clothing. Characteristic of Werner, he used his strength to turn his attention to helping others. Courage, tenacity, and faith, kept him standing.
His family is humbled and honored to see his legacy continue to encourage and help others. We are grateful to the families and young racers of the Loon Race Team for organizing the first annual Ski-A-Thon, Carving for a Cure.
Fifty percent of the money donated will go to Boston Children’s Hospital in Samantha (Sammi) Burns name. She is now in remission.
Photograph by Stefan Zwahlen – firstname.lastname@example.org