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Somewhere Between Obscurity and Oblivion
  DISCLAIMER: This list might be extremely biased, ill-informed, and/or completely irrational. But it's more fun that way.

Old Lists: 1998-99 | 1999-2000

April 9, 2001

Top 5 Stories at Spring Series

  1. RJ - the Hot Dog Stand Guy - blows out his knee while throwing out an unruly customer - and we saw it happen.
  2. No snow, too much snow. Make up your mind already.
  3. [Editor's Note: Number 3 was nixed because of incriminating evidence against a friend - but wouldn't you like to know!]
  4. Snood. If you don't know what I am talking about, you are better off that way.
  5. Tomcats. Do not see this movie. Ever.

April 2, 2001

Top 5 Places To Ski in the Spring

  1. Tuckerman Ravine - New Hampshire. You'll probably be able to ski therein August this year!
  2. Mt. Bachelor area - Oregon. Less snow that usually, but still might have groomed tracks in June. plus great crust skiing.
  3. Daniels Summit - Utah. Some of the best crust skiing anywhere.
  4. Tahoe - California. A ton of snow and lots of crust and backcountry to explore.
  5. High Uintas - Utah. Close to home.

March 26, 2001

Top 5 X-C Ski Lodges
This past week, the Day Lodge at Great Glen Trails in Gorham, New Hampshire burned to the ground. This is tragic because not only was it a beautiful building, but is was also one of very few lodges built specifically for cross country skiing within the past twenty years. It had only been in operation for about seven years (I think). In memorial, I offer my five favorite x-c ski lodges.

  1. Great Glen Trails, New Hampshire - Here's hoping they can rebuild soon.
  2. Soldier Hollow, Utah - The brand new day lodge is magnificent, with a big fireplace and a deck that can see 80% of the trails.
  3. Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, New Hampshire - another beautiful new lodge.
  4. Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont - but the trails are so good you may never see the lodge.
  5. Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado - nice deck and great views, if you don't suffocate in the thin air at 10,000 feet.

March 19, 2001

Top 5 Reasons To Love Quebec
I know I have been very hard on Valcartier and Quebec this season. Here is my first attempt to make amends.

  1. Mount Sainte Anne - the best ski area in North America
  2. Drummondville Dunkin Donuts - home of the Dunkin Donuts Challenge
  3. It's only a province - not a whole country
  4. It makes our country look much more appealing
  5. the Gaspe Peninsula - the best backcountry skiing east of the Rockies

March 12, 2001

Top 5 Closest Calls at the Start Line
There is a fine line between getting in a perfect warm-up and missing your start. But I've only missed one. So far.

  1. High School State Meet - 1990 - For some reason, when I had thirty seconds until my start, I decided to do a couple more wind sprints. I missed my start by 45 seconds or so. But that got me so fired up and angry, I won by my biggest margin of the year.
  2. Continental Cup - November 1996 - I was putting on my Exel pole straps, which were very complicated back then, when they said "30 seconds." I panicked and strapped up wrong and had to redo it. As I skied out of the start, I was still adjusting my grip.
  3. Sunday at Craftsbury - I misread the course map and was 4K from the start with 12 minutes until race time. I had to race back at full speed, just to make it to the start. I made it with a solid 20 seconds to spare.
  4. Rumford Spring Race - 1995 - Kick waxing was so tricky that I finished waxing my skis a minute and a half before my start. I ran to the start and started immediately, without testing the wax or warming up. I won the race.
  5. Val Cartier Continental Cup - 2000 - I forgot that the start interval was 15 seconds, not 30. I thought I had a minute and a half to go as I took off my warm ups, when actually I had 45 seconds. As soon as I had my warm ups off and my skis and poles back on, the timer said, "Trois,Deux,Un...."

March 5, 2001

Top 5 Coolest Things I've Won at a Ski Race
There was a time when I enjoyed winning trophies medals so I could add them to my collection. No longer. Now it 's all about the prizes.

  1. Money. Yup, it's all about the money. The $1,000 I won at a sprint event a couple years ago is my biggest payday to date.
  2. A Cow - At the Cheri Walsh Memorial at Holderness School, they give out inflatable cows to the fastest skiers. We've got a small herd in our basement.
  3. A chair made from snowshoe materials. A few years ago in the east there was a series of races put on by Tubbs snowshoes that combined snowshoeing and xc skiing. The series didn't last too long because they gave out more prizes than they had entrants. This chair was probably worth a few hundred dollars.
  4. Exel Ski Poles - also at the Cheri Walsh Memorial. For prizes, that race can't be beat.
  5. Snowshoes and Timberland hiking boots - also a Tubbs Snowshoe Series race.

February 26, 2001

Top 5 Greatest Cheers I Have Ever Heard
Cheering for a ski race takes a lot of effort and practice. Most people do not put enough heart and lungs into it. The most important thing about a cheer is that it should be loud. And it should be persistent. And ernest. And for me. In the end it doesn't matter what you say, it's how you say it.

  1. I had my own personal cheer in high school that some girls on our high school team made up. Pathetic that I bring that up -maybe, but that will always be my all-time favorite.
  2. "You're every white woman's dream!" - Chris Grover
  3. "Push The Button" - Jon Shea
  4. "Hang in there. It's really spread out." - Ruff Patterson's way of saying you've had better days.
  5. "Who's Game Is It?!" - Another Jon Shea gem

February 19, 2001

Top 5 Greatest Comebacks In Sports

  1. Lance Armstrong beating cancer, then beating the bejesus out of the world's best cyclists in the Tour De France (twice!!).
  2. Speedskater Dan Jansen coming back from an Olympics of family tragedy and extreme disappointment to win a Gold Medal and crush the World Record four years later.
  3. Greg Lemond recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound to win the Tour De France again (twice!!).
  4. Michael Jordan returning to basketball after two years off to win three more NBA titles.
  5. (tie) Stephania Belmondo and Thomas Alsgaard both coming from a first day result way back in the teens, way off the pace, to win the Pursuit races on the same day at the 1999 World Championships. Probably not really in the top 5, but I needed a skiing one.

February 12, 2001

Top 5 Dowhills on XC Ski Trails

  1. The Screaming Downhill at Dartmouth's Oak Hill - they closed this off a few years ago because they got sick of digging UNH women out of the woods.
  2. The NEW Downhill at Oak Hill - It is new and improved - now they pick Middlebury women out of the woods!
  3. Around the Mountain Loop at Mont St. Anne - I think I put this on a list before somewhere
  4. Tuckerman's Ravine on Mount Washington, NH- You have never really lived until you have skied Tuckermans on cross country skis
  5. The trail down the back side of Silver Star

February 5, 2001

Top 5 Favorite Pseudo-Sports
With the launch of the XFL, it is time to look back on the prefabricated sports that paved the way for it.

  1. American Gladiators - the standard by which all others are judged
  2. RollerJam - recently folded, but it will be missed
  3. Ultimate Fighting Challenge
  4. The Professional Bowlers Tour
  5. Celebrity Death Match
  6. And of course ...The International Rollerski Series!

January 29, 2001

Top 5 Favorite Super Bowl Commercials

  1. Diet Dr. Pepper - GREEN BAY WATCH
  2. Budweiser - WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
  3. The one starring the New York Giants as a bunch of inept clowns in football uniforms - but they showed that commercial too often.
  4. e*Trade - The Monkey Cowboy
  5. Ray Lewis saying, "I'm going to Disney World - right after I get out of court. . ."

January 22, 2001

Top 5 Things I Am Doing During My Self-Imposed Rest Period

  1. Sleeping.
  2. Snowboarding
  3. Going to Sundance Movies
  4. Tele-Skiing
  5. Walking up and down Main St. Park City hoping to run into someone famous who is here for Sundance (with no luck)

January 15, 2001

Top 5 Memorable Moments of The Soldier Hollow World Cup

  1. Starting the 30K Mass Start with the best in the World
  2. The over-zealous course worker who literally tackled Christian Hoffman for being on the course during another race.
  3. Justin Wadsworth's 8th place and Beckie Scott's 4th on the opening day of races.
  4. Sitting next to Johann Muehlegg at the Opening Ceremonies
  5. Walking through the stadium on my way to the start of each race. The music, the crowds, the nervousness. It was fantastic.

January 8, 2001

Top 5 Stupidest Things In Cross Country Skiing

  1. FIS Uniform Logo Restrictions - God forbid we should promote advertising to the millions of people who see us race in the Chevy Truck US Nationals or Buderus World Cup.
  2. Races In Val Cartier
  3. Combi Skis
  4. "Sprints" that last four minutes
  5. Ski Archery

January 1, 2001

Top 5 Favorite Airports on the way to Ski Country

  1. Vancouver, BC - the most pleasant airport to waste time in, unless you are going through customs.
  2. Manchester, NH - small, uncrowded and usually cheap to fly in to, but flights are sometimes delayed.
  3. Salt Lake City - Only a half hour from home, reasonable flights to almost anywhere and long term parking is only $5 a night.
  4. Kelowna, BC - I hate the small planes that fly in here, but the shuttle that takes you 45 minutes up the mountain to beautiful Silver Star for only $25 can't be beat.
  5. Reno - not a great airport, but much better to use it that drive 12 hours across Nevada to get to Tahoe.

December 25, 2000

Top 4 Favorite TV Christmas Specials

  1. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown
  2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  4. South Park - The Spirit of Christmas
  5. Any Simpsons episode where Homer dresses up in a Santa Costume.

December 18, 2000

Top 10 (you get an extra 5 - Merry Christmas!) Ways To Tell That You Are Obsessed With Skiing

  1. You tell your girlfriend that the reason you couldn't answer your phone at 10:00 on a Saturday night is that you were asleep - and she believes you!
  2. Your Christmas List: Polypropylene underwear, roto-brushes, Cytomax, snow thermometer, Breathe-Right strips.
  3. When you hit a rock while using your good skis, you instinctively yell, "Oww!" because you really do feel the pain.
  4. An attractive member of the opposite sex goes flying by you on the trail in a tight lycra suit . . . and you wonder what she/he has on for wax.
  5. You speak Norwegian.
  6. You read Norwegian SkiSport even though you don't speak Norwegian.
  7. The first appliance you use in the morning is your heart-rate monitor.
  8. When someone asks if you want to do "LSD" you assume they mean a Long, Slow Distance workout.
  9. As a general rule, there are always more skis in your car than there are people.
  10. You actually read this website.

December 11, 2000

Top 5 Outrageous Numbers of Gear
I live with two other ski racers and one more active outdoors person. And if there is one thing that skiers love, it is gear of all kinds. A few weeks ago, we decided to count up some of the gear we own. If he with the most toys really does win, then I think we have the lead. And no I am not going to tell you where I live.

  1. 75 pairs of skis (of all kinds - XC, tele, alpine, etc.).
  2. 17 pairs of running shoes.
  3. 15 pairs of rollerskis.
  4. 10 wax boxes
  5. 739 World Cup Race Videos - Buy Some Please!

December 4, 2000

Top 5 Ornaments On Our New Christmas Tree Here In Quebec
We got a small tree and invited lots of skiers over to decorate it. Here are the best ornaments as voted by a panel of 5 judges.

  1. Sara Renner and Amanda Fortier's cutouts of their poses in the Nordic Nudes calendar, complete with Santa's hats.
  2. Pete Vordenberg's Gingerbread man made from an Orange Peel.
  3. Cut-Outs of skiers Pat Weaver, Justin Wadsworth and Nina Kemppel.
  4. The Star and snowflakes created by Barb Jones and Coreen Woodbury.
  5. The Tang label.

November 27, 2000

Top 5 Favorite Kick Waxes

  1. Rode Multigrade Violet - I knew a guy in college who only used this wax.
  2. Swix Extra Blue - More World Cup races have been won on Extra Blue than any other wax.
  3. Rode Multigrade Blue - no need to ever wax any colder than this.
  4. Rode Super Blue - Super says it all.
  5. Swix VR50 - when nothing else will work.

November 20, 2000

Top 5 Ways I Get Fired Up For A Big Race
One of these is not true, but you have to figure out which one.

  1. Tell other people in the wax room how fast my skis look as I am waxing them. Tell them they shouldn't even bother racing.
  2. Listen to heavy metal music during breakfast or on the way to the race.
  3. Put Britney Spears stickers on my skis.
  4. Read old journal entries about great races from the past.
  5. Visualize the race in my head as I stretch out the night before.

November 13, 2000

Top Ways To Tell You Are in Norway
This list was submitted by Sean Solberg, who is from Minnesota, but goes to university in
Norway. It is both humorous and enlightening. See, learning can be fun.

  1. People roller-ski to work.
  2. It is 'cool' to wear tight Swix training clothes all the time; no unwarranted insults or stares from the public.
  3. 50 yr old people passing you during intervals.
  4. Roller skiing races on television.
  5. It doesn't get light at all.
  6. Have run into Espen Bjervig while training in the woods.
  7. Small children yell things to try and improve your technique.
  8. There's a roller board/ wax bench in the basement of most university dorms.

November 6, 2000

Top Five List Programs On VH1
By now it is obvious that I have a thing for making lists. Well, apparently VH1 feels the same way because every time we turned on the TV in Fairbanks, they had some countdown going on. Here are the top Five List Programs they showed, including
their #1 and my pick (my comments) (their rank on VH1's list).

  1. 100 Greatest Hard Rock Bands of All-Time - Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses (ok, I admit that Led Zeppelin was the greatest, but I think Guns are way underrated) (9)
  2. Best Guilty Pleasure Song - Hold On - Wilson Phillips, It's All Coming Back To Me Now - Celine Dion (but Wilson Phillips is a solid choice)(NR)
  3. Best Song of the 80's - In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel, Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard (what was 80's music if not rock anthems from hair bands?) (NR)
  4. 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time - the Beatles, yeah - the Beatles (the best, but not my favorite of all time, that would be Slaughter)
  5. 50 Greatest Soundtracks Of All Time - The Bodyguard, Top Gun - (you mean OTHER movies have soundtracks?) (11)
  6. Greatest Song of All Time - (I Can't Get No...)Satisfaction - How Can You Pick A Greatest Song of All Time? It is impossible (and it's definitely not "Satisfaction"). I mean there's "Crazy," "Lucky," "Sometimes," "Stronger,"...

October 30, 2000

Top Five Ways To Tell You Are In Fairbanks

  1. There is 6 inches of snow on the ground and everyone talks about how beautiful the skiing is.
  2. When your roommate calls the weather phone in the morning and hears "It's 12 degrees at the airport," he hangs up and says "Wow, It's warm out."
  3. When you start skiing at 9:00 AM, it is still dark out.
  4. A big day out on the town means visiting the pipeline.
  5. When you say "skiing" to a local, they automatically assume you mean cross country!

October 23, 2000

Top Five Biggest Surprises in the 2000 IRS

  1. There were no international competitors in the International Rollerski Series
  2. There was not a single chipwich all season
  3. Nearly 100 people cared enough about the IRS to vote on its fate. Rather disturbing.
  4. I won three races and still couldn't take home the Best 3 out of 6 Overall Title!
  5. People actually came and took photos and covered the races in the newspapers. There must be SOME news out there that isn't fabricated for entertainment purposes.

October 16, 2000

Top Five Coolest Things About Being on the Nordic Equipment catalog cover

  1. All the groupies
  2. The catalog cover progression: Bjorn Daehlie, Bill Koch, Bjorn Daehlie, Stephania Belmondo, Cory Smith. No pressure.
  3. It's amazing what they can do to your technique with a little airbrushing!
  4. I've already given my sponsors more publicity than I did all last season.
  5. People now go up to Pete Sampras and say, "hey, you look like Cory Smith!"

October 9, 2000

My Top Five Favorite Cars As A Ski Racer

  1. Nissan XTerra - bright yellow
  2. Volvo Cross Country
  3. Subaru Outback
  4. Toyota 4Runner
  5. Chevy Suburban

October 2, 2000

Top Five Coolest Looking Skis
Now I think most people would agree that most skis are ugly, so maybe these are just the least ugly.

  1. 2001 Atomic Beta Classic - blue and yellow colors are surprisingly classic
  2. 2000 Atomic ARC Classic - almost the same as the above Betas
  3. 1989 Fischer RCS - the white ones which were the first with yellow sidewalls
  4. 2000 Atomic Beta Skate Ski - much better than the pink ski it replaced
  5. 1993 Fischer Revolutions

Ugliest Ski Ever - 1994 Atomic Micro

September 25, 2000

Top Five Earliest Dates I have been on Snow

  1. August 6, 1996 - OK this is cheating, but I was in New Zealand
  2. September 23, 2000 - Guardsman Pass, Utah
  3. October 12, 1994 - Towgatee (sp?) Pass, Wyoming
  4. October 14, 1998 - Park City golf course, Utah
  5. October 25 (?), 1989 - my backyard, Littleton, NH

September 18, 2000

Top Five Favorite Non-Training Activities

  1. Sailing
  2. Tele-Skiing & Snowboarding
  3. Calling 1-800-Dial-MTV 47 times a day to vote for Debbie Gibson
  4. Tennis
  5. Fishing, golf, and all those other things I never do, but look fun.

September 11, 2000

Top Five Movies With Skiing In Them (they are all downhill, but what can you do)

  1. Aspen Extreme
  2. All James Bond movies with a cool intro featuring either skiing or snowboarding
  3. Hot Dog!
  4. Dumb and Dumber
  5. Better Off Dead

September 4, 2000

Top Five Websites I visit most often

  1. - Since I no longer have time to watch SportsCenter
  2. - All my news for the day
  3. - I am an ad junkie
  4. - for the most up-to-date race info
  5. - the second best news site

August 27, 2000

Wildlife Count From Prince William Sound (approximate)

  • 2 bears (one by our campsite!)
  • 3 Dall Porpoises (look like Orcas but the size of dolphins)
  • 6 Bald Eagles
  • 7 Orcas
  • 8 groups of humpback whales (each group had 3-8 whales)
  • lots of sea lions
  • lots of sea otters
  • lots of jellyfish
  • lots of water fowl
  • hundreds of seals (in a colony on an icejam and many more in the water
  • thousands and thousands of salmon ( in the water and jumping out of it)
  • millions of mosquitos

August 20, 2000

Top Five Favorite Places in the whole world

  1. Squam Lake, NH. A very good friend of mine said it best: "The more places I go, the more beautiful this place becomes."
  2. Queenstown, NZ and the surrounding Mtns. Probably the best little adventure town in the world.
  3. White Mountain National Forest. Home, sweet home.
  4. Prince William Sound. It was so amazing it inspired me to do this list.
  5. (tie) Southern Utah - Moab, Zion, Bryce, etc. The desert can be very cool.
    Lake Tahoe/Truckee, CA - snow, snow, snow.

August 13, 2000

Top Five Songs About the Rain (we thought of many more on our Denali trip)

  1. Here Comes The Rain Again - Eurythmics
  2. November Rain - Guns N' Roses
  3. Purple Rain - Prince
  4. Another Song About The Rain - Cracker
  5. So. Central Rain - R.E.M.

August 6, 2000

Top Five Suggestions To Resolve The IRS Scandal - taken from your votes!

  1. Stange should be placed on chipwich duty for the remaining races and be required to race the course on a Big Wheel next Friday.
  2. Next race should include a one on one grudge match between Smith and Stange-Lemans start to hidden rollerskis/poles (which should be the oldest, slowest ones an impartial committee can find, with different, incorrectly sized poles)- each athlete must wear at least one piece of woman's clothing. The course should be routed through PC and require that each athlete purchase and consume one box each of your silly chipwiches. The winner gets 10 points deducted, the loser 20. Everyone else gets a show.
  3. Cory Smith should be fined for not keeping his "list" section updated.
  4. a modified version of celebrity deathmatch, with dave chamberlain to oversee the proper use of the chipwiches....
  5. Stange and Smith should ski a special grudge match (no holds barred), and at the end should kiss and make up and share a chipwich!

July 31, 2000

Top Five Secrets To Consistent Training.
We all have motivational crises that keep us from training as much as we would like. Here's what I do to minimize them.

  1. Write down a very specific weekly plan, like this one. Make sure it is realistic and achievable. Post that plan where you will see it often.
  2. Try to train at the same time every day, so your body expects it and can prepare. Routine is your friend.
  3. Get plenty of rest, food and drink. Nothing saps motivation like a lack of one of these. Try to eat something about 1-2 hours before working out and drink constantly.
  4. Make plans to train with someone else, especially for hard sessions. It makes it harder to back out.
  5. Take a day off every week. Schedule a day off in advance so you can enjoy the extra free time.
  6. Do NOT try to squeeze in extra sessions to make up for those you miss. Especially if you miss them because you are sick or very tired.

July 24, 2000

Top Five Summer Workouts - everyone should do these once a summer.

  1. Hike the biggest mountain within driving distance - preferably run up and down one in a day that people say can't be done in less than three days.
  2. Rollerski two hours classic, then switch and do two hours skate.
  3. Do an all day bike ride, with plenty of scenic stops.
  4. Run to a remote mountain lake with a rubber boat or inner tube in your pack, lounge all day, then run home.
  5. Do the hardest race you can find, whether it be a marathon, triathlon, or something insane.

July 17, 2000

Top Five Celebrity Look-a-likes in Cross Country skiing (I DID NOT come up with these. Other people are to blame).

  1. Andrew Johnson - Brad Pitt. Must be tough hearing this all the time like he does.
  2. Chris Klein - John Rocker. I'm not even going to touch that one.
  3. Jason Tedrow - Dave Mustaine. Both rock stars, really.
  4. Cory Smith - Pete Sampras. I picked the wrong sport.
  5. Jim Fredricks - Gilbert Godfrey. I really don't want credit for that one.

July 10, 2000 - submitted by Joe Gerard

Top 5 things said to me while rollerskiing:

1. This ain't no place to play, boy!
2. Why is he doing that?
3. Look at those rollerblades, mommy.
4. Is that strenuous?
5. <...puzzled stare>

July 3, 2000

Top Five Reasons To Go Home.

  1. Mom's desserts.
  2. My Dad trains more than I do.
  3. Sea level.
  4. No work.
  5. Sleep until noon.

June 12, 2000

Top Five VH1's Behind The Music.

  1. Motley Crue - If these guys haven't done it, it isn't possible.
  2. Metallica - Any time the lead singer catches on fire it jumps you up a few notches, unless you are Michael Jackson.
  3. Ozzy Osborne - Simply for biting the heads off chickens, whether he really did or not.
  4. Poison - for doing their best Motley Crue imitation.
  5. Fleetwood Mac - You need a roadmap to keep track of the relationships in this group. Could you have a 20 year coke habit and still live to tell about it?

June 5, 2000

Top Five Ice Cream Treats To Finish Off A Day of Hard Training.

  1. Toll House Chipwich
  2. Dairy Queen Chocolate Lover's Blizzards
  3. Snickers Ice Cream Bar
  4. Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia (pint, Peace Pop, or both)
  5. Triple Chocolate Drumstick

May 29, 2000

Top Five Videos you should buy from Hungry Athletes to support our racing careers.

  1. All of them
  2. Most of them (20% discount for 6 or more)
  3. Any of them
  4. Some of them
  5. Please??

© 2003 Cory Smith. All Rights Reserved.