DCSki Columnist Encourages President Bush to Take Up Skiing 15
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

Connie Lawn, left, poses with President Bush. Connie’s husband, Charles, is on the right.
Efforts are underway to convince President Bush to take up alpine skiing. Connie Lawn suggested the adventure to President Bush during his Christmas Dinner for the media on Thursday night, December 18th. President Bush seemed interested in the concept, and said Connie was the second person to suggest it that night.

President Bush is perhaps the most physically fit President this nation has had. But, he had received an MRI examination of his knees earlier in the day, and doctors told the 57-year old President he must make some allowances for age and wear and tear from his rigorous running.

So far, President Bush has manifest his snow interest by throwing snowballs to his two dogs. But, he could be persuaded to learn more. We told him skiing is much easier on the knees, if done correctly. One of his predecessors, President Gerald Ford, was a passionate skier at Vail and Beaver Creek during his time in office. This reporter was fortunate to have gone on many of those ski trips with President Ford. Needless to say, she offered to teach President Bush. Stay tuned!

About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

Author thumbnail
DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Resort

Reader Comments

andy
December 22, 2003
They will have to build him his own ski area at camp david. I don't see him flying in to whitetail for a day!
John Sherwood
December 23, 2003
I suggest that the President take a private lesson at Liberty with Otto Matheke--one of the best instructors in the region for new skiers.

See the following article:

http://www.dcski.com/news/2002/03032002/learning.php

Liberty also has the advantage of being very convenient Camp David.

Also, I strongly suggest that the Commander in Chief be outfitted with new equipment from the Ski Center on Mass Ave (very convenient to the White House). Brian Eardly, the boot fitter there, is one of the finest boot fitters in the country and will be sure to outfit the President with boots and skis that do not put too much stress on his knees.

If he enjoys the sport, he can make a few more forays to Liberty for instruction before going BIG at Park City. One day, I hope to see George W. making some turns with the finest skier in world politics--Vladimir Putin.
Connie Lawn
December 23, 2003
Thanks John - as usual, good solid advice. Now, to try to get these through to the President. I doubt he would do anything before the election.
How is Killington? Yours, Connie
KevR
December 23, 2003
In a perhaps somewhat related story, former President Carter skis every year at Crested Butte for the local Adaptive Program he started or at least supports. I just happened to be skiing there two years ago when the annual Carter fundraiser rolled into town. I desperately wanted to cut a few turn with him ... I searched high and low, but like the elusive snipe, he was always on some other lift. Never did see him ... but maybe he really was there.
Johnfmh
December 24, 2003
Snowshoe has a helipad and is not far from Camp David by helo. The mountain also has only two access roads, making it very easy to secure for the Secret Service.

WV was a critical swing state in the 2000 elections and President Buish may want to reward the state for its loyalty by skiing there FIRST. In any event, the resort will certainly treat him well and make it an ejoyable first day on skis.

Also, Putin should consider Shay's on his next visit to DC. :)
snowcone
December 24, 2003
Judging from our personal experience of how flight movement is curtailed for General Aviation airplanes every time Bush & Co. are in a given area, I surely don't want that crew descending on any slope I might patronize. Whenever he flies somewhere he has a 50 mile security exclusion zone around his plane. When he is in residence at Camp David there is a no-fly zone that seriously impairs activity at busy Frederick and Hagarstown airports and grounds all craft at small airports. Oh, and within that exclusion zone there have often been shoot down warnings. When ever he lands, the security is just as draconian. I mention all this because ...

Do you honestly think that if a sitting President decided to go ski at Snowshoe or any other local slope that anyone else would be allowed within 25 miles of the place? The sight of our president skiing at Liberty, Seven Springs or wherever, would only be granted to the secret service guys and a few select TV cameramen. We have so little onslope time around here due to the eccentric weather in the area that I doubt I would be all that willing to give up any of my few ski days for any celebrity, including a president.

As far as former skiing presidents go, Carter is just that, a former president and therefore doesn't require the massive security cordon that this president has had since 9/11.

One further thought: let's say our president decides that he loves skiing, how would the local resorts stay in business if they had to shut down to the general public for security reasons every time the White House party decide to hit the slopes? It's touch and go for some of these resorts as it is, that might just be the bit necessary to push them over the financial precipice.

So, I am all for the President skiing ... but ... I vote for his own private slopes at Camp David.
Connie Lawn
December 24, 2003
Great comments! I doubt Bush would even really consider skiing until after the election, although John's idea about W Va is good. Same goes to Pa.
I will try to get Bush interested in the sport. You are right, it was rough when Ford skiied at Vail and Beaver, but those areas are much bigger. Yours, Connie
JohnL
December 24, 2003
Connie,

Nice idea.

President takes up skiing. President goes to ski area and ski area closes. Press corps and White House Correspondents cover the event and ski with the President. And get paid for it.

Hmmmmmmm. :) :)
johnfmh
December 24, 2003
I ran into Clinton once at a GW basketball game. Security was a little more intense than usual but not unbearable. He told no one that he intended to go and showed up with a minimal security detail. Times have changed I admit but it is still possible for a president to low key it.

With respect to Bush, no one has to know that he is skiing. If you stick a helmet on him, a neck warmer, and goggles, no one will ever know who he is--even on the lifts. He should go low profile, avoid the press (including DCSki), and just relax and try and learn to make turns. If he gets good, he can then invite press along to strut his stuff but until then, low profile is the way to go. No one needs to see him fall. Give the guy some privacy.
KevR
December 24, 2003
If he can sneak into Baghdad, I think he could sneak up to a local resort for a few turns! As far as Carter, he was there in Crested Butte in 2002 (check the web). Never saw him myself, but for all I know I was skiing right next to him. The one pic I found on the web, I think he looks unrecognizable in his gear. So Bushie should go for it... Now, the real question is this -- snowboard or skis?
:-)
Jonny K
December 24, 2003
Vice President Cheney skis at Jackson and I think he lives there. Howard Dean took a few powder days off to ski in Vermont. I think politicians in office should be doing their job and wait to do activities (skiing) until they have left the office.
Connie Lawn
December 25, 2003
These are all terrific comments, and I will show them around. You are right, Presidents can ski privately, and no one will realize it until later. Also, only a very small press corps is allowed on such events, and the pool is very limited. The White House is likely to make the press pool wait down below - they would probably not be allowed to ski with the President in any case. Presidents really do a lot of things in private, including dinners and trips overseas (unfortunately)
Connie Lawn
December 25, 2003
These are all terrific comments, and I will show them around. You are right, Presidents can ski privately, and no one will realize it until later. Also, only a very small press corps is allowed on such events, and the pool is very limited. The White House is likely to make the press pool wait down below - they would probably not be allowed to ski with the President in any case. Presidents really do a lot of things in private, including dinners and trips overseas (unfortunately)
andy
December 25, 2003
maybe he could ski in the PRESIDENTIAL RANGE!!
Roger Z
December 28, 2003
Connie- you could invite members of 10th Mountain Div up with Bush. Don't they still have skiers in that unit? Put a few of those guys on the slopes and their won't be any worry about security. :) I'd be willing to go through a security check to ski with the President for a day. The man who landed on an aircraft carrier certainly shouldn't be afraid of a little snow and ice!

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