A man from Connecticut, who's been recognized for his world-class talent, is on the slopes at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but he's not competing.
For more than 30 years, Simsbury resident, Chuck Boyd, has been a volunteer ski patrol at Ski Sundown in New Hartford.
He's part of the team responsible for maintaining and promoting skier safety, providing first-aid to accident victims on the hill, and transporting injured skiers.
Boyd describes his training as similar to an EMT B, saying, " I think one of the only differences is they work out of an ambulance and we work on the side of a hill."
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In Boyd's case, working on the side of a hill is something he started long before he ever clicked into a pair of skis.
"I'm a climber, and to get to some of the ice climbs in winter, you needed to approach on skis, so I started skiing," the mountaineer explained.
So it was climbing and doing rescues on some of the biggest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, that gave him the experience needed to become an elite national ski patrol.
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Boyd is one of just 26 Americans invited to the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
When he's not volunteering as a ski patrol at Ski Sundown, he runs a climbing school and guide service that he said takes him all around the world. He also trains climbing instructors and trains ski patrol volunteers all across the United States.
All that experience helps explain how a ski patrol who calls Connecticut home got the call to join the safety team in China.
Still, Boyd said that call came as a surprise.
"I had no idea. It was a little bit of a shock," he told NBC Connecticut in an interview before departing for Beijing. "I appreciate it, you know?"
"You feel kind of honored that I've been 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 run.
Despite the long days and the one hour bus ride to get to the mountain, they say Chuck is having fun.
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