LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - This weekend's ski and snowboard championship celebrated the achievements of an 88 year old man who helped shape the racing program at Mount La Crosse.
For over 50 years, Lorenze Pinski, who goes by the name ‘LP', has shared his love of skiing on the slopes and through countless hours of volunteer work. On Sunday, L.P. was honored for his decades of service with a "lifetime achievement award" at the Wisconsin Ski and Snowboard Championship at Mount La Crosse.
"I was very surprised," said L.P. "My family and their kids were here and I thought ‘well, they just want to come out and see the opening ceremony. And then they mentioned my name and I thought ‘what did I do now?' So yeah, I was kind of surprised and it was kind of neat."
"He's an icon at this hill," said Cindy Patza, coach and race administrator for the championship. "He started so many of the programs that have lead to what we have out here now."
L.P.'s initial interest in skiing developed early. In 1933, before he was 10 years old, L.P. joined the La Crosse Ski Club. This club was responsible for La Crosse's first ski hill called the "La Crosse Snow Bowl."
His volunteer work began in the early 40s where his passion for skiing even survived World War II.
"I missed one year," said L.P. "That was in the winter of '44. And I was in a German prison camp and they didn't have skiing. They should have put it in their program, but they didn't."
The "Snow Bowl" no longer exists, but L.P. has also made important contributions in the development of Mount La Crosse. He was the first ever ski school director there and there is even a run named "Thanks L.P."
L.P. was also an integral part of La Crosse's first racing programs and has been referred to as one of the "pioneers of alpine racing" in Wisconsin.
"When I started working here he was running the racing program," said Lois Storlie, who started work at Mount La Crosse in 1973. "And the most important one for all the kids was the Sunday Slalom. And L.P. operated the Sunday Slalom and he had a herd of little kids that followed him around. Somebody called him a shepherd of the flock with all those little kids waiting for him to get the race course set up."
40 years later, L.P. is still working hard at races, now as a referee.
"I'm not up on the hill skiing as much," said L.P. "I'm taking care of things in the timing house and stuff like that, and refereeing. My mind says yes on skis and my legs say no."
None the less, L.P. said he still gets out on his skis, just "nothing too wild."
For Patza, this is just one more reason why L.P. is so deserving of the lifetime achievement award.
"Not only is he 88 and still skiing and still involved in the professional ski association, but this happens to be the 20th anniversary of the state meet being at Mount La Crosse and he's never missed a year showing up and working for us."
L.P. doesn't plan to stop his volunteer work any time soon and is grateful for the enthusiasm of so many to keep the ski and snowboard meet going.
"You look at an event like this and you can't look at just one guy. They probably got on the order of at least 40 people that are volunteering to put on an event like this."
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.