ElbowkushI may have missed something, but what does the younger generations aspirations to compete in the olympics got to do with the decline in the sport?
As someone who grew up training for the Olympics, I will tell you. To understand you have to put how you feel about skiing aside. Everyone starts something because it's new, it's fun, it's exciting. Some people excel at it, others don't but hey, maybe they still like it and want to do it. Right? Well, not all the time.
So for me, I started competing in gymnastics when I was 8 on a team of like 50 girls. Each year more and more people dropped out. And usually it was the girls who weren't "allowed" or able to move up to the next level.
The higher the level, that harder the training. By the time I was 11 I was training 6 days a week between 27-35 hours, more so during meet season. At this point people aren't just doing gymnastics because they like it. In fact, most of them fucking hate it at times.
And when I was 12-13 that was it, most people were gone. The 50 people we started out with turned into 4 in just 5 years. When you are involved in something competitively, it's inevitable for people to drop out if they aren't progressing to others standards.
MANY left with feels of resentment. Most never, ever doing anything gymnastics related again. Once you start competing at a high level, there's really no more "for fun," in the sport. So you can't just quit and do your own thing. Some do, but for most they are just done.
So now what I think people are getting at is this. Lots of people are getting their kids in competition. Let it be racing, moguls, freestyle etc. What happens (I believe) is these kids either go on to be incredible or they suck and never do it again. Lots of kids do it just because their parents want them to and when they grow up to have their own say, many won't ski like that anymore.
I'm assuming back in the day, people didn't start free skiing to win comps. But now parents get their small children involved to compete and that's where it gets fucky for the same reasons it got fucky for me. But when people start skiing for the fun of it, without ever taking it too seriously in terms of competition then(unless they don't like it) they don't really have a reason to stop. As long as they're having fun they'll continue to ski. And that kind of mentality is being tossed aside for all these kids who are thrown into competition.
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