My Corner, Your Corner: Thoughts about skiing in 90-degree temperatures

July 16th, 2015 2:05 pm

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Now, we’re talking summer! Today promises to be a sweltering hot day with temps in the 90s, something we haven’t seen often this summer. Just last week, when temps were in the 50s and 60s, I wondered where summer had gone.

A few weeks ago, you read in the Dispatch about Barbara Bullions and the trips she’s guided to Europe over the last decade. Her latest 15-day trip to Italy completed this past Friday was a doozy. The group of nearly 60 students and adults battled record heat with temps in the mid-90s, sometimes reaching 100 degrees. Hopefully, they brought some of that weather back with them.

Go, Stephanie, go

With the heat of summer upon us, one person is thinking of snow — Stephanie Jallen. Our local Paralympian skier is about to embark on a southern hemisphere trip to New Zealand and Australia next month for the beginning of the 2015-16 World Cup Series.

Stephanie recently posted a YouTube video showing her training as a 13-year old. She’s now 19. In that posting, she commented, “This video was taken six and a half years ago. I was 13 years old. To think about how much has happened since then is breathtaking. I am twice as fast, twice as strong and all of this can be credited to Ernie (Baul, her trainer of nine years). I love watching what we were doing in this video because now that just seems easy. I feel strong and am excited again to compete next month in New Zealand.”

All of that is an understatement. Stephanie not only succeeded in her goal of reaching the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, she conquered the slopes, scoring bronze medals in the super-G and the super combined. The Wyoming Area grad wasn’t even expected to make the trip, let alone score a medal.

Stephanie made us all proud as a hometown hero but also as a national hero. She met with President and Mrs. Obama and was nominated for the “Best of U.S. Awards” where she, again, surprised everyone by winning two awards - Best Female Paralympian and Best Moment of the Paralympic Games - on NBC Sports (NBCSHD) broadcasting nationally from Washington, D.C.

The ESPY Awards were broadcast this week where Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Stephanie could win that award any day of the week. She represents her area and country well. She’s aware of the responsibility bestowed upon her and doesn’t want to disappoint anyone.

Stephanie was on the verge of retiring at the completion of the games in Sochi. With her success renewed, however, her enthusiasm for the sport soared and she rededicated herself to getting faster and stronger. At 19, she still has a bit to go to become her strongest.

Remember, Stephanie competes against the world’s best during every competition. She has so much pressure to perform her best because, if competitors don’t perform, they lose spots on the national team. Here’s the crazy thing — she does this job going 65 to 75 mph on one leg.

She may not admit it often, but most women she competes against have two legs. It’s been said she is probably the best one-legged competitive skier in the world - and she grew up right here in Harding.

Let’s get behind Stephanie in wishing her best wishes for a 2015-16 ski season with great success and, above all, great health. Stay safe in your travels.

Remember, you make us proud!

Quote of the week

“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” – Iris Murdoch, British novelist.

Thought of the week

“It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us.” – Walter Benjamin, German theologian.

Bumper sticker

“Kindness is discovered in everything.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born American writer.

If you have a birthday, anniversary or special event you’d like publicized, email Tony Callaio at