By Katie Connors, Contributing Writer
The energy was high as students and community members poured into the auditorium on November 16th to listen to Olympic Snowboarder Seth Wescott talk about his experience growing up in Farmington following a showing of the movie, ‘Pleasure,’ a film compiling footage of Wescott and other Olympic athletes.
The event was put on by the Riders Club, an off campus organization that brings board sports to children. Students exchanged loud whoops and greetings as they took their seats. Periodically winter gear was raffled off with much excitement. Members of the Riders Club stood on the stage in front of the auditorium.
Wescott, a Farmington native and Olympic gold medalist, talked to the audience about Farmington and his snowboarding experience. He said that he grew up skiing five or more days a week when he moved to High Street. Wescott recalled the days when Titcomb would not allow people to snowboard, he said the staff called them “lunch trays.” Wescott said that bombing hills on lunch trays is better than being inside as the audience agreed with a thunderous cheer. He then said that he was, “fortunate to be able to grow up in a place that focuses on outdoor recreation.”
Wescott’s mother Margaret, a former school teacher, attended the event to support her son. She laughed said she was baffled by the incredible turnout. She was impressed with the number of community members that came out in addition to college students. Margaret was proud of her son’s speech and how far he has come as a snowboarder. He used to be a “dinosaur freak,” she said, “but you would never guess that looking at him now.”
Kitt Wescott, Wescott’s wife, was also in the audience. She said that she first learned to ski at four and it has been her passion ever since.
Barry Tripp, the leader of the Riders Club talked about how the club offers professional training for children. During his explanation a slideshow of children free skiing and snowboarding at Titcomb played behind him. Tripp said later in an interview that the children set goals for the club and choose what they do. Then the coaches and the board shape the direction to accommodate the children.