‘Skiing Grandmother’ Hopes to Hit the Slopes One Last Time
HOUSTON (Yourhoustonnews.com) - It was the rush of the wind on her face and the freedom she enjoyed the most as Nita Neyland skied the slopes for many years as a part of the Skiing Grandmothers.
She was 55 years old when she first picked up a pair of skis; it was love at first sight. Now, the 90-year-old Neyland hopes to ski the slopes one last time.
Neyland, a resident at Silverado Senior Living in Kingwood, first started skiing with a group of ladies who decided to learn how to ski in the 50s and 60s. Many of her skiing pictures and even the jacket all of the Skiing Grandmothers wore when they went skiing are on display in Neyland’s memory case displayed outside of her room at Silverado.
“I had a friend from Houston who went skiing every year,” Neyland said. “One year, a whole group of them were going skiing and they asked me to go so I said, ‘I have never had a pair of skis on in my life but why not.’ I spent one week with an instructor and from there on, I just picked up new skills every day.”
Neyland recalled not being scared to ski all of the different slopes and runs because she was more determined to become a better skier every time she put on her skis. Through the Skiing Grandmothers, Neyland has had the opportunity to ski in many different countries and with ski professionals.
Neyland skied with the Skiing Grandmothers for more than 20 years and they would raise money for the Special Olympics as well as other charities during world-class ski events such as the World Alpine Ski Championship in Veil.
They received national coverage for their efforts in 1989 including an interview with Peter Jennings for their efforts which included taking on double black diamond ski runs all while dressed in bright red outfits with cowboy hats on adorned with pins from all of the different places they went skiing.
The Skiing Grandmothers usually skied in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where there would usually be about four or five of them skiing when spectators would always ask who they were hence the name, Skiing Grandmothers stuck.
Several of the employees at Silverado Senior Living in Kingwood really hope Neyland has the chance to ski again and are working to see what they can organize in the future.
“There is nothing like skiing,” Neyland said. “It is the best feeling in the world, I love to ski. I hope I get the chance to ski that one last time. I loved every minute of it from when I put my skis on for the very first time until I took them off for the last ski.”
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