Gordie demonstrated his potential for the ski team at an early age. In third grade he stuck a fork in an electrical outlet, grasping tightly to ensure that the contact was good. It wasn't that he was trying to kill himself, he just figured that it might be interesting.
"Have I done anything really crazy? Well, I don't know. I once had a motorcycle crash. It was coming home from a party, when I was really blasted out of my gord. There were six of us, and we started fooling around and seeing how fast we could go. I won cause I went faster than I could actually go. When I realized that there was no way in the world that I was going to make a turn ahead, I layed the bike down (you know, turned it sideways so that it was skidding and then set it down onto the ground) because I had heard that that is what you're supposed to do when you know that you are going to crash. I didn't know that you are supposed to sit on top of the bike and let it slide on the road under you. There is a reason that you are supposed to sit on top of the bike. There is also a reason that they make grind stones out of rock and that sort of thing. I sanded about a quarter inch off my butt in that fall, and could not sit down for a week. I guess that I was kind of lucky though, because I skidded between the posts of a guard rail at a good 30 miles an hour. One of those posts sure would have done a job on me."
Peter Carter is the coach of the ski team, and in him are personified the many contradictions of the team: Leftist politics in the face of skiing's continued elitism, for instance. He is a good skier, having won the Latin American Championships in his day, and he continued to win many races in the East far past his day. At 26 most skiers would have retired years ago, but for some reason Carter hangs on in both spirit and performance. Team members often wonder what makes Carter go, why he does things the way that he does, but no one really knows. Peter spent some of his childhood in South America, and the rest of it here. He learned to ski on a small hill behind his house and went on to become the captain and later coach of the Harvard Ski Team. Somewhere along the line he turned out to be a very strange guy.
"I do lots of crazy things, I don't know why. I guess that it's just fun. There is a bridge near our summer home that we used to jump off of. The bridge was about 35 feet high, and the only spot of deep water was about two feet square. That was sort of crazy, but after a while it got a little boring so we rigged up a rope that you could swing off of. Then you had to hit the deep water on the way back. If you froze on the rope, you swung back into the side of the bridge."
"Peter and I entered the demolition derby that they hold in Middlebury Vt. We brought two cars, a junker to wreck and a car to drive home in. The car that we were supposed to drive home in was not in such good condition either. In fact the spectators mistook it for one of the junkers that had already been destroyed in the derby, and so many people climbed on top of it that the roof caved in."
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