Please Miss, have I got news for you


It’s handy having a dad with connections.

Little Sophia Lazor, 5, spent last week worrying about what to bring to her St Joseph’s Primary class for “news day” – luckily dad James Lazor came to the rescue.

He’s Snow Sports New Zealand’s alpine director – and mates with United States alpine ski-racing team members here for this week’s Winter Games.

Lazor, himself an American, roped in Dane Spencer and Jimmy Cochran to come along to class to answer questions from Sophia’s classmates and a senior class last Monday.

Spencer’s 200cm-plus super G skis were a hot topic.

“You want to have skis that long so they can support you when you’re going about 100km an hour,” Spencer told senior kids.

“But don’t you trip over them?” asks one pupil.

Cochran: “Once you get going fast they feel really short.”

Spencer and Cochran say they enjoyed their experience talking with kids about ski racing – a discipline not considered as mainstream as freeskiing or snowboarding in NZ.

“It doesn’t really matter what they do as long as they’re being active on snow,” Cochran says.

“In the US it’s hard to do things in the winter so if a kid’s snowboarding or ski racing or whatever – it’s better than sitting inside in front of the TV.”

Cochran, 28, enters the giant slalom race today and races slalom at Coronet Peak on Sunday.

Spencer, 32, entered super G at Coronet Peak on Tuesday and competes against Cochran in GS today.

It’s the start of their season and Winter Games is ideal training for them as they look ahead to next year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

“These races may seem isolated and not connected with the rest of the season but they really are. If you have a good result, it gives you some confidence for the rest of the season,” Spencer says.