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TEXANS HIT THE SLOPES

By Lisa Ellen Smith |

For many Texans, the first reports of snowfall in New Mexico and Colorado set hearts pounding with symptoms of ski fever. To determine who is the top skier in the state, the Texas Cup is celebrating its sixth year with a ski weekend February 16 and 17 at Sierra Blanca Ski Resort near Ruidoso, New Mexico.

“This race is run just like a professional ski competition,” says race coordinator Steve Moss. Moss is the only Texan to ever ski on the professional free-style circuit. He won the Texas Cup in 1972 and became race coordinator in 1979.

Steve Mahre, a World Cup champion and a silver medalist in the 1984 Winter Olympics, will perform an exhibition run and will ski with contestants. Moss expects several celebrities to show up, among them WFAA sportscaster George Riba. He says that The Nelsons rock band will be there, along with Texas-based musician Joe “King” Car-rasco. Past celebrities at the competition have included cowboy Larry Mahan, actor/ cowboy Walt Garrison and Lubbock rocker Joe Ely.

“The participating skiers compete head-to-head, which makes this a great spectator sport,” Moss says. “You get faster times and better falls when skiers go side by side.”

The $25 entry fee includes a professional racing bib, hats, invitations to two parties and souvenirs from the sponsors. The field is limited to 125 competitors. “All these skiers are NASTAR (National Standard Race) quality,” Moss says. Teams of six to 10 may compete along with individual contestants. Moss is also trying to organize a Texas media competition.

For the winners, trophies are awarded, along with three round-trip airline tickets to any Southwest Airlines destination, skis, boots, bindings, poles, skiwear and ski and boot bags. This year’s sponsors are Furr’s Cafeterias, Miller Lite, Lange USA, Smirnoff vodka and Southwest Airlines.

For more information and registration, call any Dallas area ski shop.

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