Bow’s Patrick Wachsmuth is the most chill – and best skier – in the area

  • Bow High’s Patrick Wachsmuth competes at the boys’ Division II Alpine ski championships at Mount Cranmore in North Conway on Feb. 11, 2021. JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

Monitor staff
Published: 3/25/2022 6:14:29 PM

Patrick Wachsmuth is a rarity.

The junior at Bow High School combines a laid-back personality with athletic dominance. Wachsmuth’s chill demeanor melds more with that of a park rat rather than an Alpine ski racer. He sports hair that belongs on a California beach, not stuffed inside a ski helmet.

But despite all of that, Wachsmuth undeniably belongs on the mountain.

Wachsmuth won six out of 10 races this year. In helping Bow take silver as a team in Division II, he claimed a silver of his own in the giant slalom, followed by gold in the slalom. He went on to finish second in the slalom at the Meet of Champions and win the slalom at the Eastern High School Championships, where he was named most valuable skier.

His dominance on the mountain has earned him the Concord Monitor’s Alpine boys’ skier of the year award as well.

“The season was great. The whole team did a great job. We had a lot of fun. It wasn’t really that serious, to be honest. But the main goal was to have fun,” said Wachsmuth.

Most athletes stop putting fun first at some point. The competitive nature of sports drives kids to focus on results rather than the joy of the game. But not Wachsmuth.

“I see a lot of my friends and other athletes get to a sport and they’re really good at it, and they just drop it because they don’t have fun anymore. And that’s what I don’t want to happen with me and skiing. Because I love skiing, and I just want to enjoy it,” said Wachsmuth.

The junior doesn’t take run after run down a course because he feels a need to be the best. He does it because there is nothing else he’d rather be doing.

“When you love something, you just love it and you keep doing it,” said Wachsmuth. “If you have great friends while you’re doing it, it just never gets old.”

All this isn’t to say that Wachsmuth doesn’t work hard. He mentioned on several occasions that fun doesn’t mean a lack of effort.

“I think the thing that probably helped me the most was I just went out there and did what I did. I don’t really know how to explain it,” said Wachsmuth with a laugh.

Wachsmuth’s coach, Mike Sampo, offered a slightly more in-depth explanation: “His ability comes from his confidence and comes from starting skiing at a very young age. He has such confidence in his ability that he just goes out there and skis. A lot of the other skiers, they’re thinking about it; they’re mapping out their strategy for the racecourse. And Patrick just goes out there and skis.”

Sampo said he thinks Wachsmuth’s family helped mold him into the dominant skier that he is. The youngest of three brothers in a skiing family, Wachsmuth was always trying to keep up. And, eventually, people started trying to keep up with him.

Sampo has been with Wachsmuth at the biggest races of his life. And the coach said nothing seems to faze the young skier.

“He’s very, very laid back,” Sampo said. “I don’t know what goes through his head. Or if he gets nervous at all. He certainly doesn’t show it.”

Wachsmuth is a product of his environment, and he was sure to give thanks to those who set him up for success.

“My parents, if I’m allowed to thank them,” said Wachsmuth. “They definitely promote me and helped me a lot.”

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