Grace Ski Program: Bob Arnold
I firmly believe cross country skiing is an ideal Alaskan individual and family sport so I am excited to be part of the coaching staff at Grace. I started skiing with my family in Bellingham Washington in 4th grade and had raced as much as feasible then, 4 times, before enrolling at University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 1977. Still on wood, 3-pin skis at that time, I had to catch up with far-better trained Alaskan students on the Nanook running and XC ski teams. I learned much about equipment, waxing and training in the days of pure classic before skating. As captain my senior year, I designed and helped construct the West-Hill ski course on the UAF campus.
While in my ophthalmology training, and courting Koni in Minnesota, I made the "step-of-faith" from kick wax to skating. One of my best races was an 89th out of 8000 finish in the 55Km Birkebeiner which I skied on 215 cm classic skis. Minnesota was not only my birthplace, but the birthplace of rollerblades; to this day I enjoy ski training rollerblading with skate ski poles. I enjoy classic and skate but probably would have excelled in the latter had it been available while I was in college.
Reered with Sunday school, I accepted Christ Feb 1977 and fellowshipped with campus ministries through post-secondary education. Koni and I joined Anchorage Grace in 1989 where I became enamored with Grace Christian School and with missions. Prompted by parent requests for "another winter sport," I participated in GCS's first strategic planning task force and proposed the ski team. With families like the Gionets and Longs, the ski team had modest beginnings in 1998 with coach Gionet taking a blue ribbon on classic skis at the first GCS ski program competition, a biathlon race. Work permitting, I have been able to coach or assist as the program has grown and evolved through an outstanding performance at Regions and State in February 2008. Conceding that the "other winter sport" of basketball is a superb, and critical mission language at Grace, I am dedicated to spur one another on to good works so the Grace Ski Team, through excellence, sportsmaship and compassion, will likewise glorify our Creator and serve as a valid witness to Alaska. 2011 offered opportunity to help coach Anchorage Christian School 's) first Nordic Ski Team. NFHS coaching certified.
Coaching Philosophy: Stamina, Technique, Sportsmanship and Fun. Grinding up a hill even in a 5 Km race requires stamina so we need to put in kilometers and time as an investment. Cooperatively improving our skating and classic technique combined with equipment maintenance and waxing will make the better individual and team skier. Encouraging one another and our competition will honor Grace and our Father. Fun will permeate our skiing and our fellowship throughout the year; Are we having FUN yet?