In skiing , a sport, uniquely individual by definition, the 2011 University of Colorado Team became the Greatest Team in History. They scored 831 points , the highest amount in history , winning by 80 points , one of the largest amounts in history. But point totals or score of the game isn't what defines greatness and those secret formulas of winning such as athleticism , equipment , waxes, or technique have been disproven time and time again.? What is the record of the Miami Heat ? Colorado Buff Joanne Reid, whose skis were not gripping the rain soaked slippery snow, pushed herself for 20 thousand kilometers to fifth place, the Podium, and First Team All-American honors. But pursuit of individual accolades is not why Joanne, National Champions Reid Pletcher and Eliska Hajkova, or other Colorado Buffalo skiers succeeded. In an I SKI TV filmed interview Colorado's 2009 NCAA Champion ,Gabriel Rivas, clearly stated ,”. . . his goal was to get a good clean , conservative run to help the Team.” He sacrificed his personal interest by not skiing a faster but riskier run that would win him another Slalom National Title. Gabriel finished second and with commendable sportsmanship congratulated winner Tim Kelley as soon as he crossed the finish line. Colorado Buffaloe skiers Caroline Nordh and Sara Hjertman just missed joining Teammate Erika Ghent for First Team All American Status for the same reason, Team before Yourself. As Colorado Skier Andreas Haug was quoted in an interview, "It was more important for us to get to the finish and score points for the team than go all out and get a higher placement forourselves."_________________________
What makes this team Great; perhaps, the greatest of all time; perhaps, the Greatest Team that will ever be is in their hearts. Because they have Hearts as big as Buffaloes. Beyond their athletic gifts, they have a passion and love for the sport and most importantly one another that may exceed our comprehension. Bonded by their love of Teammate Spencer Nelson who died tragically this year doing what he loves, climbing the highest mountains, the Colorado Buffaloes fully understanding the importance of each other, as friends and teammates helped and inspired each other to their and Spencer’s Dream , a National Championship.
I SKI TV filmed the entire NCAA Championship , with the aim of not only capturing the skiing, but equally important the atmosphere, individuals, and teams that define this event so splendidly for the sport of skiing, as a team sport. After filming extensively for four days capturing every evidence of School and Team Spirit by every University and College competing, we were astonished to see that 85% of the footage was the University of Colorado Buffaloes. Even more surprising was that the legions of fans and supporters that seemed to be everywhere waving ten foot black and gold Colorado flags, blowing loud stadium horns, ringing piercing cow bells , screaming shouting cheers, singing the Colorado fight song , “ . . . shoulder to shoulder we will fight ,fight, fight . . .” WERE ACTUALLY JUST TWELVE PEOPLE, THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO TEAM ITSELF. In THIRTY DEGREE POURING RAIN, INSTEAD OF STAYING WARM, DRY, RESTING FOR THEIR UPCOMING EVENT, THE TEAM AND THE COACHES WERE CHEERING ON THEIR TEAMMATES IN THE FREEZING RAIN . . . AND THEY WERE LOVING EVERY SECOND OF IT.
It was an honor and a privilege to chronicle this historic event by this heroic team. I hope that this video essay , Colorado School Spirit, in some way visualizes the mountain of pure pristine emotion and admirable, exemplary character of The Greatest Team in History. They won an NCAA Championship, and they won our hearts. For Spencer.
A.J. Kania , I SKI TV