A Connecticut man, who has been recognized for his world-class talent, is on the trails of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but he is not competing.
For over 30 years Simsbury resident Chuck Boyd has been a volunteer ski patroller at Ski Sundown in New Hartford.
He is part of the team responsible for maintaining and promoting skier safety, providing first aid to accident victims on the slopes and transporting injured skiers.
Boyd describes his training as similar to an EMT B, saying, “I think one of the only differences is that they work in an ambulance and we work on the side of a hill.”
In Boyd’s case, working on the side of a hill is something he started long before he put on a pair of skis.
“I am a climber, and to access some ice climbing in winter, you had to approach on skis, so I started to ski”, explained the mountaineer.
So it was by climbing and performing rescues on some of the greatest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, that he gained the experience necessary to become an elite national ski patrol.
Boyd is one of 26 Americans invited to the Beijing Winter Olympics.
When he’s not volunteering as a ski patroller at Ski Sundown, he runs a climbing school and guiding service which he says takes him all over the world. He also trains rock climbing instructors and trains volunteer ski patrollers all over the United States.
All of this experience helps explain how a ski patrol that lives in Connecticut got the call to join the security team in China.
Still, Boyd said that call came as a surprise.
“I had no idea. It was a bit of a shock,” he told NBC Connecticut in an interview before leaving for Beijing. “I appreciate it, you know?
“You feel a little honored that I was asked,” he said.
And now that the Winter Olympics are underway, Ski Sundown tells NBC Connecticut that Boyd is working 12-hour days, patrolling the men’s downhill.
Despite the long days and the hour-long bus ride to the mountain, they say Chuck is having a great time.