CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- The Tennessee Valley is home to a lot of ski enthusiasts. Enough so, that a group got together many years ago and formed the Chattanooga Ski Club with a race team.
We recently went to a race with them in North Carolina.
"You have to have the attitude of first place or first Baptist hospital if you're gonna win your race," said racing director Chuck Corey.
Who ever said you can't take skiing seriously in the south never skied with Chuck Corey and the Chattanooga Ski Club's race team.
If speed is your thing they'd love to have you, "you're trying to go as fast as you can, get down the hill and don't miss a gate," said ski team member Megan Wiggington.
It's alpine skiing and it's been a part of the Winter Olympics since 1964. This race team has never produced an Olympic skier but they've sent quit a few to the club nationals.
A place 13-year-old Wes Carroll is working towards, "I asked where's dad? she said he's out racing. I said oh racing! I want to, they said I could and I qualified."
At 13 Wes isn't even the youngest racer. The team has even had racers in their 80's.
Larry Clark's been carving slopes since the late 60's, "I do powder skiing, heli skiing, cat skiing but I've never raced."
That is until his buddy Chuck talked him into it three years ago, "really just fell in love with it. It put the excitement back in skiing for me. I got burnt out teaching, this is exciting," said Clark.
"You challenge yourself. It helps you overcome some of your anxiety of skiing on hard snow. Fear of going fast. It puts you on your ends. You're gonna make some mistakes, you're gonna slide down a bit but that's ok," said Clark.
Corey said, "as they say, if you're not falling you're not hauling. So you gotta be prepared to take a fall now and then but it's a lot of fun, it increases your racing skills. We have a lot of fun."
The team races seven times a season and they have 20 different flights, so you're only racing against skiers on your skill level.
Like Chuck said it's first place or go down trying but out of the bindings the team is a family and when they're not racing they join the 300 member Chattanooga Ski Club on trips all over the world.