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The Little Hero who Conquered the Super Giant Slalom

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“When I ask for his dreams, he does not have them. These kids dont think about the long term. It is the task of the coach to make it possible that they can dream.” (Photo: Bavo Delbaere)
Two skis make a horizontal turn. Snow shoots in all directions. Time is stopped, and the cheering crowds reach a crescendo. A member of the USA skiing delegation quickly grabs a pen and jokingly writes down ‘Amir Gusev’ on their national contestant list. Eleven-year old Amir from Uzbekistan just finished the Super Giant Slalom in 1 minute, 2.39 seconds. Team coach Dmitriy Pitirimov stays cool under all the excitement. “It’s not about pride, I don’t like that feeling. I am grateful though. Pride gives you the feeling you are already there, gratefulness keep your feet on the ground. He doesn’t weigh as much as his opponents who are adults. It’s a disadvantage in skiing, but Amir overthrows that with his bravery. Dmitriy says he wants to be a mentor for others. “Hospitality is anchored in the Uzbek way of life. In the summer or during vacation, I invite the athletes to my home. My family gives them food, care and love. We spend time with them."

About Me:

Bavo Delbaere, Belgian member of the AIPS young reporters programme, living in Bruges. I like football, good stories and the smell of freshly printed magazine paper.