Sylvie's Done WHAT?

Biathlon.  "Bad-ass."  Sylvie?!

Parents wonder how such a thing can happen with a daughter. 

She was a fine young ballet dancer.  She was following along very well in her accomplished older sister's toe-steps on stage, developing her own style and grace.

But poof! 

Like the elusive sylph in "La Sylphide," she vanished - returning to her forest in one forever unretractable, impish instant. 

(“Oh… remember our 'Syl' as she was in her role in 'The Nutcracker,' dancing ever so joyously in ‘Snow’?”)

In place of those shimmery, satin toe shoes there are now BOOTS - snapped mechanically onto skinny skis in snow - used in her individual "performances" in shivering cold, outdoor theaters only the hardiest (and deranged?) of plebians will suffer to watch.  Goodbye, pure white, puffy tutu!  Stunned,  we see how she has traded it for a suit of scandalously colorful, skintight spandex.  Instead of the rare, delicate ribbon in her outstretched fingers, a terribly accurate rifle she slings off her back to her shoulder, and with one finger yanks its cold, metal trigger repeatedly to pop off shots and drop her targets one after the other.   And chasing down her competitors to beat them back to the course stadium is some kind of... WHAT?  "Fun" in which a gladiatorial mob may revel with her? 

So much for the ballet world's refined, "esprit des corps" and how we thought to adorn her given name with the French, "ie" ending to lend it a good, guiding "essence."  So much for dance instructors with artistic lineages reflected by truly Terpsi-chorean names.  Shouting at her and over her shoulder, these days, are teachers and coaches with truly rough names.  Names like "Henkels," for instance.   And "Kähkönen." 


"Sylvan the Wayward" she may well now be called. 

(“She just can’t be anywhere NEAR so happy - deep down, anyway - out in all that cold, real white stuff.”)

Alas, we give in, anyway [backs of our hands pressed to our foreheads], to issue our plea here in a Go Fund Me campaign.  

And we'll just cut from the fairy tale-ish humor at this point.  Despite the basic truth of the story, above (which has been fun to tell this way), Vannesa and I aren't REALLY  a couple of "upper crust" traumatized parents; in fact, we know we'll be thrilled this winter to see how Sylvie does with this.  But her siblings, Elodie and Daven, are  in special programs, too, so her surprising decision to try biathlon - combined with her unexpectedly good early showing at it - does create a bit of a predicament.   Biathlon training expenses are very high.   NYSEF instruction fees this year are running to $2,400.  New skis and high-tech waxes will be on the order of $750.  To this we'll have to add a few hundred dollars for other required memberships and say, $550 to help cover an as-yet-unknown extent of travel and accommodation needs (hopefully not across borders this year!) which we see  getting more complicated by the required transport, storage and day-to-day, general care and maintenance of that most central piece of biathlon "equipment."  THEN, after winter ends there will come next summer and fall's special training and competitions on roller skis before winter sweeps into the North Coutry all over again.  Call it $5,250.  Then this cycle will almost certainly (as in some kaleidoscopic, modern balletic tragedy!!) be repeated. 

(Oh, there I went again.)

Vannesa and I and will of course greatly appreciate any and all donations, and/or simply any supportive good wishes and thoughts you might send Sylvie's way.  (As will she!)

      We hope you'll come watch Sylvie compete this

  • Richard Jarvis 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Aunt Nancy (Jones) Emrich-Freeman 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 46 mos
  • Karyn Richards 
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 46 mos
  • Debra Alitz 
    • $75 
    • 47 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 47 mos
See all


Walter Linck 
Saranac Lake, NY
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