Harding is held a one-day ski trip is being held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Wildwood, Missouri near St. Louis. The event was organized by Harding’s recreation program, but is not the first ski trip they have offered.
“We used to offer a week-long ski trip to Colorado over spring break, but it was too far and too expensive,” Dr. Stephen Burks said, chairman of the Kinesiology Department. Burks planned the ski trip alongside Tom Ritchie, director of recreation.
In addition to Burks and Ritchie, two other faculty members chaperoned 26 students, most of whom have skiing experience.
Senior Luke Helms claims to be “somewhere in between beginner and intermediate” when it comes to skiing. Helms was first introduced to skiing as a child and went most recently when he studied abroad at Harding University in Florence (HUF) in the spring of 2016.
“When I get on the slopes, I pick it up pretty easily,” Helms said. Burks, a skier himself related it to riding a bike.
Senior Xandi Eudaly is another experienced skier who attended the trip. Years of vacationing with her family to New Mexico in the winters has given Eudaly a love for the sport.
Eudaly also skied while studying abroad at HUF in the spring of 2016, but her experience was much different than that of Helms. On the third week of their three-month study abroad trip, Eudaly was badly injured while skiing in the Italian Alps.
“On one of the last runs of the last ski day, I was skiing down the mountain with a couple of friends. A catch in the snow made me lose my balance and fall, and my friends were ahead of me, so they didn’t know that I had fallen. Four Italians who didn’t speak English helped me and carried me down the rest of the slope on a sled. I found out after two X-Rays, an MRI and two visits to an Italian doctor that I had torn my ACL and Meniscus,” Eudaly said, recounting her injury.
On Monday, Eudaly skied for the first time since her injury almost two years ago.
“I felt like this trip was the perfect opportunity for me to get back into skiing and rebuild my confidence on the mountain,” said Eudaly.
An $85 fee covered the cost of skiing, equipment rental and transportation to and from Hidden Valley Ski Resort, which is a five hour drive from campus.