In case, you don’t have the time to read the entire paper, I’d like to direct your attention to two brief articles. The subjects of the stories are two young adults, both former Idyllwild residents.
As I said once before, and the New York Times recently noted, this is phenomenal for a competitor who didn’t start playing the game as a kid at the local country club. Steele primarily played soccer and baseball in his youth.
Salter is another local athlete achieving world class status. She won the gold medal in the woman’s skeleton this past weekend. Not only is this proof of her budding talent, but a stronger indication of her determination and will power.
In the fall, she failed to make the National Development team, which was her expectation after the 2011 season. Disappointed, she struggled for a short time, then listened to her coaches’ feedback and set her goals for the year and future.
She recognizes that it takes time to develop. As you know Salter was not raised in a winter wonderland. She began her skeleton career only a few years ago after college.
But she knows persistence and practice are the critical ingredients. So if we don’t hear her name in 2014 Winter Games, I will expect it in 2018.
It’s not easy growing up in Idyllwild. The “real” world, at least what we see on TV and read in the papers, seems so far away. The journey through high school requires a daily 50-mile commute, longer than some adults commute to work.
I admire all the local kids who attended Idyllwild Middle School and Hemet High or other schools. Success can be measured in many ways, although I’ve mentioned Steele’s and Salter’s athletic accomplishments, many have found academic, entertainment, artistic or eventual career success.
Last year, Casey Abrams carried Idyllwild’s identity to the far reaches of the American Idol viewership. This year, Suzanne Tufan, 25, another Idyllwild native, hopes to grab her star.
I hope today’s Idyllwild School students understand what can be accomplished by those who start here and walk the corridors of the local school.
While we may be a small community, it doesn’t restrain our ability to dream big.
Go Mountain Lions!!