After last summer's crash in Chile, Harvard ski coach Peter Carter didn't seem to have a snowball's chance in hell of returning to top racing form.
Close associates said it wasn't the injury as much as Carter knowing he might never win another race and that his once flashy knee action would be but a creaky echo of his former "lightening swivel."
But Harvard ski team members had an idea. Knowing that the spirit of a valiant combatant often lives after the body is gone and vaguely remembering a movie of the late fifties based on the legend of El Cid they contracted a noted New Hampshire tinsmith. The tinsmith fixed up some metal and rubber braces for Carter's knees and riveted his body into proper racing position.
Then, getting a strainer for a battle helmet they topped off their hero with dark goggles so no one could see his eyes were shut and entered him in the one race Carter wanted most to win--last Sunday's Charles Beebe trophy race in Peterboro, N.H., at fearsome Temple Mountain.
In the first run, captain Ben Steele carved deep ruts through the snow so Cid could follow like a bobsled. The second run was more awesome than the first and although freshman Eric Jewett tried to dethrone the mythical figure he managed only second, while sophomore Gordon Adler was properly respectful in third. El Cid, hardly a living legend, took the Beebe Trophy by a comfortable margin.
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