Johnston earns gold, silver in Norway
BRATTLEBORO — Magnifique.
That's probably how former Brattleboro Union High School French teacher Kit Whallon would describe her husband's performance in the Masters World Cup Nordic skiing races this month.
Dave Johnston, who once taught sixth grade at Academy School, was in fact "magnificent" in Norway — placing first, second and fifth against the best in the world in his age division.
"I was battling it out with one Finn and a couple of Norwegians while there," said Johnston. "I took a fall in all three races. You aren't down for a long time, but you lose momentum."
The Brattleboro resident came back to win the 10k Freestyle race in a time of 25:47 on March 10. He ralllied to finish second to Finland's Sakari Matikainen in the 15k and placed fifth in the 30k.
His daughters, Kelly and Amy, were keeping friends and family posted on Facebook.
"The time has come to brag: our dad is doing amazing at the Masters World Cup in Norway!" they wrote. "Go Pop!!! We are SO PROUD!!!"
There were 25 countries represented in the week-long event.
"It was pretty exciting to be skiing in Norway, which is the home of cross-country skiing. It was pretty special. I thought about some of the famous skiers that had competed there before," noted Johnston, who grew up in Delaware and moved to Brattleboro in 1981.
The former Firecracker 4-Miler champion prepared for the World Cup by roller skiing every day during the summer. He has competed in a couple of recent 30k races at Craftsbury and some others in Middlebury.
Johnston has also been coaching the BUHS Nordic ski team for the past four years along with Amanda Dixon.
"It's really great. It's rewarding," is how he described it. "They really inspire me — I see those kids out there every day, working hard. I was thinking of them while I was in Norway."
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