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Distance From Center - Episode 14 - The Mt Rushmore list (Part 1)


Horton
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That is the best D.O.C. episode yet. Its like sitting around the lake after a great day and debating who's the best and why. Yet you thoughtfully went back in time to 1980 and even 1970 in one case and had facts to back up your statements. Excellent.

 

I like the idea of these categories:

A. Top 5 Men's Slalom Skiers

B. Top 5 Women's Slalom Skiers

C. Top 5 Ski Design Influencers

D. Top 5 Men's Jumpers

E. Top 5 Women's Jumpers

F. Top 5 Trickers (both genders)

G. Top 5 Coaches

H. Top 5

Contributers/volunteers/promoters

I. Top advertisements/posters on to our teenage wall

 

This is a gold mine of debating, digging up memories and having fun debates/conversations.

 

Keep it up! Have some fun!

 

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So that was a cool convo...thanks for posting. There will be lots of opinions.

 

Mapple...no brainer...I'm not even going to write the book that should follow to support that choice.

 

Nate...really has to be no brainer and barring tragedy his resume will continue to grow. He has changed the way people ski...and is just gifted. He must see fast moving events in ways the rest of us don't...he's in the zone more often...the zone where the world is in slow motion, the basket looks huge etc...I'm thinking he lives there. You can talk about pushing records at 43 but really? To have a chance how many times do you have to run 41...in a tourney no less. Even when Andy wasn't setting the record he just simply ran 39 again and again. Want to win...Andy made the bar hey you are going to have to run 39 just to have a shot. Nate has damn near made it a situation where hey to have a shot you are going to have to run 41....just silly.

 

Bob LaPoint...for sure...absolute ICON.

 

Kris...yep...him too. Bob and Kris would not be the same w/out the influence of the other and have had incredible influence on the sport.

 

Can't support Asher when compared to these guys as Iconic...tho great skier, too.

 

Interesting in the brief women's convo we also have a Mapple and a LaPoint by marriage.

 

Agree with Horton's 4 choices on the womens side. Agree if not a mens only list with the list that had Regina on it.

 

I also love CP like Horton does...some lists are top 5 all-time but you picked Rushmore and there are only four.

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That was fun!

 

I would have a men's list, a women's list, and a builder's list. Most Halls of fame in other sports include a builder's category. That recognizes that the sport wouldn't be where it was today without their contributions. It also recognizes that it's different than being an athlete.

 

Now, there is just no way to leave Kris Lapointe off of the men's list. 7 Masters titles, 7 U.S. Nationals titles, 7 World records, taking it from 3@35 to 4.5@39.....13.5 buoys. Set his first world record at 13 years old!!!!! Tons of influence on ski design over the years.

 

In the builders catregory, Herb and Denny are locks, probably Pat Connelly also. Dave Goode brought material science to slalom skis in a huge way. The 9100 was an absolute game changer for the sport. Maybe Rob Shirley and Walter Maloon deserve consideration! Without them we might still be skiing behind outboards!

 

 

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Just for fun .

The list is not sexy but parallels the monument its compared to.

 

George Washington: founder of the greatest nation on earth.

 

Ralph Samuelson: founder of the greatest sport on earth.

 

-----

 

Teddy Roosevelt: influenced the greatest generation on earth.

 

Andy Mapple: influenced the greatest ski generation on earth.

 

----

 

Thomas Jefferson: founded the rules for the greatest nation on earth.

 

Dan B Haines: founded the American Water Ski Association and staged the first national championships for the greatest sport on earth. He created the sport's three competitive disciplines, slalom, tricks, and jumping, and formulated the rules.

 

----

 

Abraham Lincoln: held together the greatest nation on earth during its greatest trials.

 

The great unknown skier: someone that will hold together our sport during its greatest trials. Not sure we have hit any great trials yet.

 

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I am super stoked you guys liked it. I have a feeling Trent and I will revisit this subject a number of times.

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This topic made me actually watch it!

 

Fun stuff.

 

I'm amazed by the even-slight hesitation around Nate, although maybe it's a question of criteria. I automatically think skiing dominance and prowess and not "influence." In my mind the exercise went:

 

1 Mapple

2 Nate

3 start chiseling those two while I think about it some more...

 

 

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One of the best episodes so far. I agree that Bob LaPoint and Mapple belong as 2 of 4. Both have had many records and pushed the envelop forward. To have these scores in the 80’s and 70’s prior to PP and ZO using hand driving and riding skis does not have today technology both in design and materials and this includes bindings is amazing. What about KLP? His was 13 when he set his first record. And today he is still heavily involved it the tournament scene. He would be a hard one to not includ if you are talking about top skiers who have been involved in the design of skis and helped shape what some of today’s boats.

There are so many people both men and women that have shaped and propelled this sport to what it is today. It will be interesting and a tough list to make. I believe a couple more category’s should be made. How about

 

Women’s slalom briefly talked about

Design innovation ie Herb Obrien just to name a few

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After watching the video of KLP vs BLP it kind of justifies KLP being one of the 4 pillars of skiing. Running into 39 with hand driving manual timing that why there are 3 in the boat. The third is not a camera. Is a great feat.

Could Nate Smith Will Asher or CP run into 39 as easily as they do now with 80’s technology? Or should I say lack to technology. Who knows? I’m not taking anything away from there skill or ability by any means but with out Andy BLP or KLP who helped propel the sport in both technique and innovation in both skis and boat design as mentioned earlier it’s hard to not include KLP.

 

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@Cooper_Trelawney

Thurley? I guess there are no wrong answers.

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@Cooper_Trelawney I appreciate the semi obscure old school reference. Brett seemed like a good guy to me.

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Anybody mind if I semi-hijack this thread to have a "debate" about what the criteria for inclusion should be? I think that might be as fun and contentious as the lists themselves!

(Indeed, the lists might be relatively obvious if we all agreed on the criteria, which I'm certain we wont!)

 

Here's my own take, in order of importance:

 

Degree of domination. How much did this person crush the competition of his/her era, weighting heavily toward pro tournament results as opposed to absolute performance.

 

Duration of domination. How long could this person have been considered the best slalom skier alive?

 

Technique advancement. How much did this person make people scratch their heads and try to understand/emulate his/her technique?

 

Promotion of the sport. How much did this person help bring fans, attention, or money into the sport?

 

Advancement of the sport. How much did this person contribute to technology and equipment?

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@Than_Bogan awesome. yes criteria is half the puzzle.

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For those of you who want the PodCast version.... It is still a work in progress but I re-uploaded this episode to correct a tech issue. Follow the below link to get the audio download.

 

http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/8732183

 

 

 

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This was a very enjoyable episode but it is such an inmpossible task you've laid out for yourselves. It's so diffucult! So many variables and things to consider. Time period. Technology. Area of importance or influence. How can you weigh off the importance of innovators, builders and designers who've had a massive influence over the progression of the sport and the athletes who've used the things the builders have given them and taken the sport forward in terms of athletic accomplishments? You can't compare athletes who compete on the latest computer designed CNC milled state-of-the-art advanced material composed skis to those who competed on wooden skis or tunnel concave fibreglass wrapped foam core skis, etc. And how can you fairly argue the relative importance of each generation of athlete and builder when each is standing on the shoulders of those that came before them? You can't. Not in my opinion at least.

 

If you want to get to the final four for your Mt. Rushmore I think you have to do it like this: Break it down to 4 distinct categories, name the top four of each category then make your final four the top person of each of those four categories. But then, maybe you have to do this for certain distinct eras and have a Mt. Rushmore for each of those eras. (I will leave it to others to decide what those eras should be because I'm not knowledgeable enough in the history of the sport to know this.)

 

Here's the four Categories I think that should be argued separately:

 

1. Top 4 or 5 Male Athletes/competitors

2. Top 4 or 5 Female Athletes/Competitors

3. Top 4 or 5 Builders/designers

4. I'm not sure what this should be. Combination of Athlete and Builder/Designer maybe? I'll let others debate what this fourth category should be.

 

As far as who the top Athletes should be, I agree with @Than_Bogan that you have to look at it in terms of who dominated the sport the most in their time. That way you're comparing that athlete's accomplishments to those of others competing at the same time on the same equipment and with the same tools and technology available to them. Otherwise, you run into arguements like how well would today's top skiers have competed on equipment they had in some earlier decade and how well would the champions/record setters of that era have done if they were competing today on the equipment and with all the technology we have today? If we were talking golf, how well would Jack Nicklaus do if he was in his prime playing today and how well would Brooks Koepka do if he was playing with the clubs and balls and had only the tools at hand that Jack had back in his day? You can't know. You can only speculate. The same goes for athletes skiing back in an earlier day vs today.

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food for thought...

 

Whitney is CLEARLY one of the best female slalom skiers of all time but she skis in Regina's shadow. It is not that Whit is not great but that ski is skiing against perhaps the greatest female skier of all time.

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@owolff @Horton These are very fair points. But I can't think of another way to assess pure performance level, because absolute scores are pretty useless when the fundamental technology and technique knowledge has changed so much.

I guess what I would do is think like a statistician. If you can identify two clear outliers, then those guys are both "dominant" even if they each only win half their matchups. But when a lot of guys are bunched pretty close and one guy is significantly beyond, that's a sure sign of dominance and kinda disqualifies that next tier from Mount Rushmore (in my opinion, of course).

This is why I find it so automatic to put Nate on. And I'm quickly becoming very convinced by BLP as well.

 

KLP is really before my time. Anybody wanna argue his case for all of our education and entertainment?

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Fun discussion. To me Mount Rushmore is about founders, trailblazers, and pillars. So if we're looking for four people then ++ for Samuelson as number one. Then second we look to the skiers from the 50's/60's era of entertainment, recreation and grassroots growth and development, followed in third by the massive popularity and grit of pro skiing in 70's/80's/90's, and on to the fourth era of today's skier's incredible levels of fitness, technology and performance.
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Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding Nate’s issue(s) with Safe Sport, let’s ask the questions I wanted to pose when the video and this discussion were introduced. Let’s say that the charge or charges against Nate are sustained by Safe Sport. I don’t know the level of proof required but let’s assume that it is a “preponderance of evidence” standard (meaning the conclusion is “more likely than not”), comparable to a civil lawsuit and not the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard applied in a criminal proceeding (and I think this is s fair assumption): is Nate still eligible for enshrinement on Mount Rushmore? If he were to stop competing right now, has he done enough to hold on to that pinnacle? Let’s say USAWS follows up with a lifetime ban. Does Nate become our Pete Rose? Does a “conviction” bear on his status of one of the greatest slalom skiers ever?

 

These questions aren’t addressed to JH for a rules interpretation for Mount Rushmore eligibility. It a question to the forum about how we should think about some of these issues. It could be Nate or it could be me (although if it were about me I would put this post under the “best underrated skier” discussion). And since it is about Nate, how will this situation, if “proved true” (in quotations because these pseudo police agencies employ pretty loose rules of evidence and do not usually employ juries), how will this situation effect his historic status within the sport?

 

FYI, I have no clue if Nate is “guilty” of anything other than running more tournament 41s than anyone else ever. I hope he isn’t, and he is entitled to a presumption of innocence. I wish him well. One of our drivers is going through a similar mess. One trial down with a hung jury, a win for him though short of a not guilty verdict. He could be retried. I wish him well too.

 

Edit: I have since confirmed that the burden of proof is in fact a preponderance of evidence.

Lpskier

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@lpskier as long as this thread doesn't go off the rails I'm not going to stop it but I will say I think you getting a little bit ahead of the news. Can we just let the dust settle a little bit before we start having fun conversations about Nate's future.

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So can we agree on Samuelson as # 1 ? I'll nominate Willa Worthington McGuire (Cook) as # 2 from the 50's/60's era, BLP as # 3 from the 70's/80's/90's and Regina as # 4 from today's era. We still have a Regina trading card from a late 90's issue of Youth Sports Illistrated.

pvi9suaoo52r.jpg

 

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