Cell phone reception in the Andes from Butte probably wasn’t very good on Thursday, since most home electronic communications were out for reasons we didn’t know yet as of this writing.
So, we didn’t attempt to check on the flips in Chile being done by the Butte Wilson brothers of Olympic freestyle skiing hopes. Bryon, 25, the elder, you remember was a Bronze Medalist at the 2010 Winter Games based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Their event is men’s moguls.
Brad, 21, the younger, is looking for his first trip to the Olympics, the next version of which is scheduled for this coming winter at Sochi, Russia. Both are natives of The Mining City, have stayed true to those roots and are stars on the World Cup circuit as members of the United States team.
Each won a World Cup event last year. Bryon’s effort completed a comeback from a serious knee injury, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that cut his 2010-11 season a little bit short and threatened his future in the sport.
Brad Wilson was the circuit Rookie of the Year, posted four podium (top three) finishes and placed among the top 10 in eight of his races.
The 2012-13 season, therefore, was a success for them.
Funny, it seems, how we tend to complain about the winter cold — its length and severity — in Butte while two of the town’s favorite sons pursue that season year-around with dogged determination. They spent most of June on top of Oregon, practicing at Mount Hood, and have been south of the equator, going through routines in the Southern Hemisphere winter on the steep inclines of the Chilean Andes.
They’ve been cold a lot, you would think. In the ski world, however, they’re hot. They are in the art world, too. Bryon Wilson has for a number of years, now, been an acclaimed fish carver, in that he takes sharp tools to wood to produce likenesses of fish from his Montana familiarities. Being a good fisherman doesn’t hurt. He knows that the trout, and such really do look like and the memories from those good times inspire the production, the art.
Some of Bryon’s artwork can be seen in businesses around town and are also displayed on internet sites.
Lately, too, Brad’s ability in art has been creating a buzz. His specialty is painting in watercolors. His favorite subjects seem to be scenes from the Montana locales he knows. Commercial success for Brad in this endeavor has been on the rise as is art is applies to various products, such as covers for electronic gadgets as well as in prints.
The works, too, are available for viewing on assorted internet sites.
The art provides the Wilson brothers with more than a release, an expression or relaxation needed to continue coping with the pressures of intense international competition. Obviously abundantly talented in athletics as well as in eye-and-hand, the two young men can benefit from sales of these products, labors of love, for living expenses. As Olympians, experienced or hopeful, they are unable to commit to full-time employment as the ever-important Winter Games approach. They have strong chances to live these dreams and so they have also been blessed with talents to help sustain them, and also to provide a living while they work very hard toward them.
They are deeply appreciative of their hometown. Bryon, it has been mentioned before, once climbed back up a hill he had just performed on in a high-profile freestyle ski meet, to correct an event announcer who had introduced Wilson as being from Park City, Utah. Park City has been very good to the Wilsons since they moved there some years back to be able to train with Team USA, and they recognize that, too,
However, both will quickly tell you they love Butte. This is where they grew up, where they lived when they honed their talents — at the canvas and work bench as well as on the steeper slopes.
A tough schedule of competition awaits them when they do World Cup again this fall while hoping to secure Team USA spots for the Winter Olympics.
Butte is happy to claim them, too.