An older brother can be the best — especially when he introduces you to NASTAR.
That’s what Doris Jones experienced at age 36, when her older brother Leon, 43, offered to take his nephews skiing.
“He said, ‘Why don’t you come along, and I went,’” recalls Jones, who joined the boys at Colorado resorts such as Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, and was hooked. “It was something you could do on your own — if you didn’t do well, you couldn’t hurt anybody else. I never did real well, but I kept at it.”
Flash forward nearly 50 years, and find that Jones has done real well indeed. At age 83, she won NASTAR’s Pauline’s Cup for the second year in a row at NASTAR National Championships, hosted by Steamboat Resort late last month.
“It’s easy to win when you don’t have any competition,” she says with a laugh during a phone interview from her home in South Greenfield, Mo., where the Pauline’s Cup trophy sits on a table. The award, given to the fastest woman 80-plus at National Championships, is named for Pauline Borovicka Arias, founder of the Florida Ski Council and a standout in the NASTAR community.
Jones has raced every NASTAR National Championships since 1998. She says she doesn’t remember where they were held that year, but she does remember how she felt. “I was scared,” she admits. “I was listed as an expert skier, and I’m far from an expert skier.”
But she had her brother, Leon, at her side, until one day, he was no longer there.
“Leon brought Doris to the National Championships each spring to share his excitement of NASTAR racing,” explains NASTAR Director Bill Madsen. “Sadly, Leon was killed in 2010 during an accident while loading a boat on his trailer.”
Still, Jones has hardly been alone at the event, flanked by hundreds of fellow racers as she hoists the Pauline’s Cup trophy. “I love the atmosphere — all of the people, especially the kids,” she says of NASTAR. “It’s really for them.”
Back in Missouri, Jones figures out how to juggle her tax preparation work with her skiing schedule. A former waterskier, she says she doesn’t do other sports in the offseason; NASTAR mementos will remind her of winters past and future.
“I really appreciate the medals as much as anything,” says Jones, whose trophy actually stands small compared to the legacy of Leon. “Every time I race, I think of him.”
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