Never judge a book by its cover. That’s what Seth Crocker, 18, of Little Falls learned after he met World Cup skier Matt Liebsch at a ski store in the Twin Cities.
“When I first met him, I just thought he was an ordinary salesman,” Crocker said.
That was until Crocker’s Nordic ski coach, Joe Dunaisky at the Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS), told him that Liebsch was the “fastest, non-Olympic, distance Nordic skier in the United States,” Crocker said.
Since then, Crocker has learned a lot from Liebsch — from ski lessons to taking the time to enjoy life.
Recently, Crocker traveled with Liebsch and several others to the Beckie Scott High Altitude Training Center by the Haig Glacier in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. That’s also where the Canadian national ski team trains, Crocker said.
For the last seven years, Liebsch has brought groups to the center to train. The idea was birthed after he visited Haig Glacier in 2009 with his training partner, Olympian Brian Gregg.
“I had so much fun on that trip and it’s such a beautiful place. Bringing groups was kind of my excuse to go back there,” Liebsch said.
Because there is a 45 minute hike from the training center up the Haig Glacier and they train for three to six hours, Liebsch is very particular about who he brings.
“I generally bring people that want to get better at skiing. To partake in camp you have to have a minimum fitness level and Seth definitely made that,” Liebsch said.
Even though the Crocker family skied for fun, it wasn’t until Crocker watched his older brother, Ethan, ski with the LFCHS cross country ski team that he decided to pursue it.
“Ethan entered in several cross country races. It made me want to join the team, too,” Crocker said.
Two years later, Crocker joined the team when he was in seventh grade. It…