You see familiar faces at sporting events all around the County. One of those people is Ben Paradis of Fort Kent. During my 34 years here at WAGM. Paradis has been working with the Nordic Ski Teams in Fort Kent since the early 80's
(Ben Paradis):"Head coach probably too long. I started in 81 and retired in 05. We had some great coaches to follow me. John Kaletta, Melinda Bard and now Carl Theriault. I have enjoyed working with them as their assistant.
Paradis says that working with the skiers keeps him young and that he enjoys being around them
Paradis:"I am getting younger every day. I enjoy working with them. I have nine grand children of my own and I enjoy playing and skiing with them."
Paradis says that he coached several of the parents and now works with their children.
Ben has been working with Carl Theriault for several years. Back in the late 90's Theriault was the alpine ski coach while Paradis coached the alpine team and the Warrior coach says he is very fortunate to have his friend assist him on the trails now
(Carl Theriault):"He has so much experience in the sport. He is a wax wizard and is so humble about everything he knows. He is a wonderful gem to have in our wax room every day."
Paradis was the driving force to the Green Bean Ski Club. He says he wasn't the organizer,but the instigator. When budgets were cut back in the 90's there was also a big cut to the ski team budget.
Paradis:"They weren't buying skis anymore in the budet. Good ole Ben thought we need skis not everyone can afford skis so I bought skis and the parents found out and got mad at me. They formed the club to support the ski team
Theriault:"The parents got tired of him doing eveything. Grooming the trails, buying skis for the kids, buying poles for the kids. They decided to start the booster club to help Ben out. He was doing everything out of the kindness of his hear which is Ben Paradis."
The Maine Ski Hall of Fame member says he has no plans to slow down and want to keep working with the team.
Paradis:"My plan is to retire in 20 years if I can make it that long. As long as I can as long as they will have me."