Excerpts from the no-longer-existent Whitsend.org feature called The Odyssey Times.
Dressed in flashy costumes, ski goggles, and warm clothes, the competitors race down the hill. They preform tricks, do flips, and even smile happily as they complete their run. The judges hold up their scores for all to see. In the end, the best team wins. The Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, perhaps? No, it will be the first (and possibly the last) ever “freestyle standup synchronized sledding” competition. Nancy Hinderliter put together the competition to be held next weekend at Gumper’s Hill.
“I’ve always wanted to compete in an Olympic sport, but I’ve never found one that I’m really good at. So, I figured the next best thing would be to invent one,” said Hinderliter. She tried non-carbonated beverage guzzling, cell phone tossing, and even the delicate sport of jelly bread tossing (trying to get the side with the jelly on it to land on top instead of on the bottom), but found she wasn’t really skilled at any of them. Finally, Hinderliter found success in sled-riding. “Sledding is such an artistic thing, so I figured it would be an ideal sport to develop.” She decided that standing on a sled would be a great place to work out a routine of some kind, similar to those they perform in figure skating.
Hinderliter says that the more typical thing to focus on for sledding would be the speed aspect. “Anybody can make a sled go fast down a hill,” she says. “But how many can stand on a sled and perform a routine worthy of a ballerina?” Hinderliter said that while interest has not been especially high from the community, she expects many to show up unannounced on the day of the competition. “On the other hand, I found a lot of people to be judges. Seems like a lot of people will enjoy watching this sort of thing if nothing else.”