Local skiers & snowboarders inspired by Winter Olympics

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MERRILLAN, Wis. (WEAU)- As the medal count grows in Sochi, business is also booming for local ski hills where more people are setting their sights on learning a new sport.

Bruce Mound Winter Sports area in Merrillan says this season they’ve seen more people coming out to try their hand at skiing and snowboarding.

“I think this year I have taught more lessons than ever before. I think it has to do with lots and lots of snow and it’s been cold,” Snowboard instructor Mary Horn said.

Horn has been teaching people how to snowboard at Bruce Mound for eight years. She says learning to ski or snowboard isn’t as easy as the Olympic athletes make it look on television.

“I would say plan on coming three days and plan on falling a lot before you get your balance,” Horn explained.

“I see a lot of kids when they try to learn on their own they get very frustrated and want to quit,” Pam Kumm said.

Pam Kumm is no stranger to the ski hill. She's spent most of her life skiing and snowboarding. These days she spends her time passing her knowledge to her grandkids.

“You see them go up and down the hill and it’s pretty rewarding to see that,” Kumm said.

Despite the bumps and bruises that come along with learning a new sport, Bruce Mound has seen people of all ages come out to experience the thrills shown during Olympic competition.

“Kids immediately on their first lesson want to know when they can do their first jump,” Horn said.

Just like the Olympic athletes, when it comes to aiming for the gold local skiiers and snowboarders aren’t ruling anything out.

“You never know what kids might do if they are very motivated. They could certainly go for a gold medal,” Kumm added.

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