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Tykes ski with US Team

Skiers said the conditions were surprisingly good for a day with temperatures rising above 60-degrees. Many of the athletes were comfortable in traditional North Country attire, including checked flannel shirts and blue jeans, wowing onlookers as they swished through the soft snow and soared over ski jumps.

Most of the children who attended the event were from the area, but there were also visitors from scattered locations in other parts of the state. Klem Hallagan, a 12-year-old skier from Rochester, said he planned to emulate the members of the U.S. Ski Team.

"I want to be a racer," he said. "I want to be just like them."

After skiing with the athletes, Hallagan and the other children crowded into the ski-lodge to get Autographs on their cloths, helmets and other gear. Olympic medalist and Lake Placid native Andrew Weibrecht was unable to ski because of a shoulder injury, but that didn't prevent him from showing up at the event to sign dozens of autographs. A few children even got a chance to hold his bronze medal.

Other U.S. Ski Team athletes at the event included two-time Olympian Jimmy Cochran of Keene, N.H., four-time Olympian Sarah Schleper of Vail, Colo., Will Brandenburg of Spokane, Wash, Keely Kelleher of Big Sky Mont, Kaylin Richardson of Edina, Minn and Alice McKennis of Glenwood Springs, Colo.

"It's amazing that this region has so many athletes," said Olson, "and now that some of them are here at this little mountain, it's just inspiring. We're especially excited because Ted won the World Cup."

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