Amidst a hectic travel schedule, Olympian Heather McPhie had a chance to chat with Big Sky Resort about the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where McPhie will compete in Freestyle Moguls for team USA and represent Big Sky Resort as an official athlete ambassador.
Big Sky Resort is fortunate and excited to have you as our official resort athlete ambassador. What were your initial reasons or thoughts in partnering with Big Sky Resort?
Big Sky is such a natural fit for me as an ambassador and I am thrilled to be joining up with the resort. My family has skied together at Big Sky every Christmas we spent together (at some points more than 20 of us), and my passion for mogul skiing started on Mad Wolf. I love the terrain and the views. I've spent countless days there and have so many wonderful memories of my time skiing both in terms of the terrain and the incredible people I have been able to spend time with at the mountain.
As someone who has never been to a Summer or Winter Olympics, can you describe in five words or less what that atmosphere feels like? At the opening or closing ceremonies and on the slopes.
These are really tough questions ... I feel like I could write book on it. I'll give you a few options: Electrifying positive spirit. The celebration of human potential. Once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Because the Olympics are a time when the average American watches sports they would not normally watch at a professional level, how do you think that impacts your sport? What would you say to people to encourage them to watch year-round and/or to just watch your event in the Olympics?
Our sport is so fun to watch. It is fast (less than 30 seconds), and you can see the entire course from top to bottom. You will see people on their edge, more twists and flips than you will most likely be able to name or count, and the crowd always has a good time. In terms of the Olympics, the intensity of any athlete, in any sport, at those pivotal Olympic moments is a memory and a feeling that can stick with you for life. Plus, Women's Freestyle Moguls is the first medal given at the Olympics, which is pretty cool.
What do you do to mentally recover from a loss or an injury?
The simple answer: I keep going. I put on good music, write in my journal, and evaluate the situation. I evaluate if it is something I need help with from a physical therapist, my strength coach, my on-hill coach, or my sports psychologist. If so, I reach out as soon as I can and make a plan. I feel the best and most confident when I feel in control of my career and my experience. Often when I'm facing something hard or scary I think of the quote, "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" (Theodore Roosevelt). If I'm attentive to each moment and doing everything I can think of each step of the way, what else can I ask of myself? That gives me comfort.
What is one superstition or habit you do before each competition?
When I am at the top of the course I close my eyes and think of people who have supported me along my way. Some people pop into my mind almost every time, but it is amazing how often different people from all areas of my life and my support crew show up. This almost always puts a smile on my face and reminds me how grateful and how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing. After that, I take a deep breath, place my fingers to my eyes as a cue for focus, and let everything else go.
We wish Heather the best of luck and good will in the Olympics in February. Join us in the Talus Room at the Summit Hotel on Saturday, Dec. 21 for a meet-and-greet and Q&A with McPhie and bid on some amazing silent auction items to support McPhie's Olympic Expenses, Big Sky Youth Empowerment, and Eagle Mount. For more details check out the Big Sky Resort Events Calendar.
Seeing Turkey for a Ticket succeed beyond any one person's expectations makes me proud. As with any big event or fundraiser, there were some bumps along the tryptophan-paved road, but in the end, the Gallatin County Food Bank, Madison County Food Bank, and Big Sky Food Bank took home 76,424-lbs (a record one-time food drive for all 3 food banks) of food for nearly 14,000 people in Gallatin and Madison counties who live in poverty. Living in poverty means a family of four has a yearly income of $20,000 or less. Since the early 1990s, Montana has had a higher average of citizens living in poverty than the United States' average, and Madison and Gallatin Counties have historically had a higher average than the Montana average. Turkey for a Ticket made so many aware of that need just by seeing trucks full of turkeys and canned food. By bringing in just one turkey, so much help was given to our neighbors. A huge thanks goes out to all who donated their time and money to help their neighbors this winter and help the larger Big Sky community by coming together for the greater good.
We're off to a great start to the Winter Season at Big Sky Resort. Sit back in awe of these amazing photos and then join us on the slopes.
Photo: Chris Kamman
Photo: Chris Kamman
Photo: Lonnie Ball
Photo: Chris Kamman
Photo: Chris Kamman
I grew up in Great Falls, Montana. Great Falls sits on the banks of the Missouri River in the high plains of Central Montana, nestled near the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. Between the plains, the edge of the mountains and the Chinook winds (Chinook means "eater" or "snow eater") I often did not have white Christmases. A lack of snow is hard to believe considering Great Falls averages 50 inches a year of snowfall. Nevertheless, Great Falls could be as barren as a brick on Christmas Day.
Christmas 2013 will be different.
Not only has Big Sky had snow for about a month now, but it has had a lot of snow. Christmas in Big Sky is not going to be like Irving Berlin's White Christmas, where it doesn't snow in Vermont until Christmas Eve. Christmas in Big Sky is not going to be like a Caribbean Cruise, where it may be warm, but the only skiing that could possibly happen is behind a boat. Christmas in Big Sky is going to be epic-with white flakes floating softly to the ground, evergreens covered in snow, with the historical Huntley Lodge surrounded by Christmas lights like the night sky, and with a fresh turn or two to break in those new skis. Big Sky Resort offers a white Christmas for everyone, and I couldn't be happier.
Photo by Jen Rook.
Winter. It can mean a lot of different things to different people. Here at Big Sky Resort it means old friends you can't help but leave behind on powder days. It means forgetting about everything else but the perfect blue sky, the beautiful landscape, and the amazing powder stash you found. It means pushing the limit on and off the mountain. As a chef in this wonderful place, winter means world class food.
Perhaps you caught an early tram and spent the day skiing tree lines and meadows in deep untouched snow. Before you know it, it's 4 p.m. and you are really hungry. Looking more like an abominable snowman then a ski bum, you ski the 4,000 vertical feet to the base. At Big Sky Resort there are nine restaurants to choose from, and you plan to try them all someday. Today, The Peaks catches your eye.
Welcomed like an old friend, you chat with the manager about your day. You find yourself saying things like "rad" and "gnarly," and you like it. As you glance over the menu, one thing catches your eye. Maybe it's the altitude, the non-recycled air, not hearing a single phone ring all day, or the fact that you just had your first powder day, but you feel like a kid again, and you order the tomato soup.
This hand-crafted masterpiece created by Chef Bockelmann, has a Montana flare and a deep heart-warming-goodness. Topped with sage infused cream and made with the finest ingredients, this soup will warm even the coldest 10-year-old or grown-up.
Once you've had a bowl of this tomato soup you'll be craving it on even slightly chilly afternoons.
Tomato Fennel Soup-Serves 8
Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
Tomatoes - Cored, Cut in 1/2, Roasted 7.5 pounds
Onion - Large Dice 0.5 pound
Celery - Large Dice 0.5 pound
Fennel - Cleaned Bulbs - Large Dice 1 pound
Fresh Garlic - Sliced 3 cloves
Fennel Broth - .5 quart
Parmesan - 3 ounce
Sugar - pinch
Salt - pinch
Pepper - pinch
Roast Tomatoes in 400 degree oven. Sweat Onion, Celery, Fennel, and Garlic in soup pot. Add Roasted Tomatoes, Fennel Broth, and Parmesan also add the salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Simmer for one Hour. Puree soup in Blender. Strain through small-hole China cap (funnel-like sieve).
Fresh Sage Infused Cream (takes more than 12 hours)
Heavy Cream - 1 cup
Fresh Sage - leaves .25 ounce
Shallots - small dice .5 ounce
Canola Oil - 1 teaspoon
Lemon Oil - 1 drop
Sweat Shallots in medium sized sauce pan, Add cream and bring to simmer. Take off heat and add Sage, place in a covered container and let steep overnight. Strain mixture through a chinois (a fine mesh sieve). Add a small Drop of Lemon Oil and whisk until soft peaks.
Pour a big bowl of soup and dollop yourself a healthy helping of the cream right on top. Enjoy. Repeat.
Every morning I wake up not knowing if I'm more excited to snowboard all day, or cook all night. I'll see you out there!
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