by Martin Griff, originally published in firsttracksonline.com
Westford, MA – They came to witness the best freestylers at the Polartec Big Air at Fenway Park in Boston last week, but those who would rather do than watch headed 22 miles northwest (as the baseball flies) to ski and ride with freestyle ski pioneer Wayne Wong at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area.
The 65-year-old Wong, a member both the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, was on hand for three days at the 240-foot vertical drop hill for his 42nd annual appearance.
Wong was also one of the thousands of watchers at the 140-foot vertical drop hill inside Fenway Park, and while Nashoba Valley had the height advantage he noted the structure built upon the Red Sox home field was intimidating.
Nashoba Valley founder Alan Fletcher, Sr. met Wong at a freestyle event at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley in the early 1970s and invited Wong to his hill to ski with the public and promote skiing. Wong has been coming back ever since for visits that he claims are highlights of his years.
“Everyone that works at Nashoba Valley Ski Resort is like a big family and I feel like a part of that family,” Wong said last Friday.
Fletcher’s family also includes his daughter Pam, a 1988 Olympian with six national titles and a gold medal at the 1986 World Cup downhill in her portfolio. Pam Fletcher works at Nashoba Valley and often joins Wong on the snow when he gives tips, rides lifts and poses for photos with members of the public.