Letters: Lowdown on Totemoff's, Telemark should be an Olympic sport

FIS telemark

Support Telemark Racing as an Olympic Discipline

In “Where Are They Now? Hedda Berntsen, Norwegian Triple Threat” (July-August 2022), Aimee Berg writes that the amazing skier/athlete Hedda Berntsen in 1997 won gold at the Telemark World Championships. What an amazing champion in multiple disciplines! It made me ask why has telemark ski racing not made it to the Olympics when there are so many ski disciplines included, while telemark racing has a deep ski history and a strong current international FIS race circuit? After the
classic course, with gates, skating and jump, Hedda said, “I have never been more tired in my whole life on the course or after.”  

Back in 2006, Schweitzer Mountain hosted the Telemark World Championships. Our five-year-old daughter was the forerunner for the classic race and went on to considerable success at the USA Telemark National Championships.

Telemark is a FIS sport and the FIS did go to the IOC and ask that telemark ski racing be included in the Beijing 2022 Olympics as a demonstration sport, but the IOC denied the request. Telemark is close to being part of the ski racing Olympic family. Support from Skiing History and readers would probably go a long way to seeing this through. It’s a valid discipline when you see the dedicated athletes and how it connects many ski disciplines into one. Reading the article about Hedda got me revved up to try and get more support for telemark racing in the Olympics. 

Tim Boden 
Sandpoint, Idaho

Totemoff'sA Beer and a Backstory at Totemoff’s

Your story about Pete Totemoff (“New Mexico’s Indispensable Man,” March-April 2023) really hit home with my wife and I, who have skied 15 days this season at Ski Santa Fe, a great little mountain near our home.

Tipping a few at Totemoff’s is always a special part of the mountain experience. A “throwback” true mountain pub if there ever was one. We, like many, had no idea where the name came from or the deep ties it has to the ski tradition of New Mexico—this includes most of Totemoff’s employees.

So, thank you for the wonderful historic article and the deep dive into the man Pete Totemoff himself. This is another example of the part ISHA plays to keep the ski tradition alive. All involved are to be complimented for their efforts.  

Duane and Susan Larson
Santa Fe, N.M.