Diann Roffe, two-time Olympic medalist, and Krista Schmidinger, two-time Olympian, worked with 50 men and women who took Sugar Mountain's Adult Pre-Season Ski Clinic.

"They got to ski with Olympians, and that's special in its own right," said Sugar's Kim Jochl. "It's something you can't get very often. The technical advice they get comes from a completely unique perspective. Not every coach or instructor has the perspective an Olympic champion can bring to a clinic."

Jochl said skiers and riders who were not in the clinic asked Roffe for autographs.

"That's kind of neat. Over 15 years later, she's still recognized and appreciated, and that's special. Of course for Diann, so much time has passed since she's been a world class ski racer that for her to share her memories with people is special for her. It allowed her to re-experience fantastic, incredible times."

Jochl, who happens to be a top racer in her own right, and Krista's sister, said racing offers energy, confidence and fun to participants at all levels.

She said elements that combine in a world class racer include talent, drive to achieve, parental support, the right facility, community support, and some measure of luck.

"All of the variables have to be in place, and you need a stroke of luck as well as the desire and discipline and focus," Jochl said.

"There is a separation between the small portion of people who reach those heights, and the large pool of people who might reach those heights," she said.

Recreational racing offers a taste of the joy that world class competition holds, Jochl said.

"When I race NASTAR I feel the same exhilaration, drive and determination to tet to the finish, ski a better run, ski with better technique. When I finish the first run, I want to go up and do it again, better. You feel what a world class ski racer feels. You may not be as good, but you feel it. There's a line of connection to high achievers," she said.

The clinic was part of Sugar Mountain's 6th Annual SugarFest, which this year saw good weather, crisp temps and great fireworks as well as a host of other activities.