Currier and Bondeson join Voisine and Chasse in Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Four skiers with ties to the County were inducted into the Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame last weekend.
Mike Chasse, Greg Voisine, Russell Currier were all present at the ceremony Harold Bondeson was honored posthumously. Earlier this week we had reaction from Chasse and Voisine. This segment tells the story of Currier and Bondeson. Russell Currier of Stockholm showed that you can go from a small town in Northern Maine to the Olympics. Currier was a two time member of the US Biathlon Olymic team and competed on the world stage in the sport for over 15 years.
Russell Currier:” I was happy to be there and have the opportunity to say thanks to the whole state of Maine and how much they were behind me during my career.”
Currier was one of many success stories for what was then the Maine Winter Sports Center. He started competing in middle school and then was selected to several US Biathlon teams starting as a youth.
Currier:” All I did was seen an opportunity and carried away with it.”
Currier never let being from a small town be a detriment to his goal of competing at the highest level. From the World Youth and Junior Championships to the World Championships to the Olympics.
Currier:” I was really happy to be there and coming from a small town your starting points are up to you. You really can come from any starting point and be any person you want to be.”
Currier has spent a lot of time working with younger skiers in the County during his competitive career and always has a message to reach for the stars and set your goals high.
Currier:” All you have to do is be willing to work hard. Learn to have fun working hard. Most of the success is actually a lot of training a lot of hard work and effort and time and if you enjoy that you are pretty all much set.”
Also honored on Saturday was Harold Bondeson of Woodland. Bondeson was a third generation Swedish American whose first means of transportation was a pair of skis.
Bondeson was inducted posthumously and his grand son Finn was in attendance and accepted the honor of behalf of the family.
Finn Bondeson:” It was very special. It was an honor to be included in that event. To be included in the Hall of Fame that has skiers and snowboarders of all different types who contributed to the sport.”
Harold was a founding member of the New Sweden Athletic Club and an ardent promoter of skiing for sports.
Bondeson:” A testament to him having a lot of fun when he was my age in his 20′s and 30′s. That is what I find important people were competing, but there was also an attitude of respect to the sport and this is what we do when we are not working and farming and what we do to have fun.”
Bondeson and a group of other skiers competed in several winter carnival races around the County and into New Brunswick and Quebec. Back in 1937 he placed third in the Bangor to Caribou cross country race which took four days to complete and his grandson has an idea that he thinks would be pretty cool.
Bondeson:” It would be kind of fun to repeat that race as the 100 year anniversary, The course would look another bit different because I don’t know if DOT would want us skiing on the side of the road on Route 2 in the Haynesville woods.”
Over the year several skiers have been inducted into the Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Bondeson says that is a part of the rich history of the County.
Bondeson:”Having the legacy in the family has inspired me to continue skiing in my life and I don’t see that stopping as I get older.”
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