Eric Bergoust says go for it |

Eric Bergoust says go for it

I would like to express my support for building the Landon Sawyer Freestyle Training Center at Keystone.

A year-round skiing center will help support local businesses during the offseason, promote the development of young people and encourage them to make positive contributions to the community.

The supporters of this facility are committed to building a center of the highest standards that you can be proud of. Similar to owning property near a school, sports club, park, or other valuable public recreation areas, residents can expect their neighborhood to be more desirable and therefore increase in value.

Providing additional athletic-oriented activities for young people will encourage them to pursue more physically and mentally productive hobbies.

Training and competing in sports can be the best preparation for life as an adult and the best deterrent against becoming a menace to society.

Young people will learn the value of hard work, focus and dedication while expanding their minds and developing exercise habits that could keep them healthy for the rest of their lives. If their sport of choice is not made available to them, they are more likely to abandon the idea of doing something significant with their lives than they are to pick another sport.

I dreamed of becoming an aerialist for my last three years of high school while refusing to participate in any other sports. At that time, there was only one facility in the country where I could learn aerials safely.

Unfortunately, the Kodak Olympic Park in Lake Placid, N.Y. was almost 2,000 miles away from my home in Montana and my family could not afford to send me there so I resorted to unconventional training methods.

In the winter, I would ski off limits, where the ski patrols wouldn’t destroy my jumps, and attempt double flips with no supervision. In the summer, when my parents weren’t home, I would practice flips off of our two-story chimney onto mattresses. Two months before my 19th birthday, I bought a tent and a $500 car and drove across the country.

When I arrived in Lake Placid, I got a job right away and, with the $10 I had left, I bought a box of powdered milk, some corn flakes, a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and jelly and lived off of that for a week until I got my first paycheck. Most young people do not have that kind of ambition.

For the financial health of the community and positive development of young people and families, please consider supporting a modern athletic training center in your area.

Eric Bergoust

U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerialist

Park City, Utah

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