Olestad, we can do i t all. . . ."
Why do you make me do this?
"Because it's beautiful when it all comes together."
I don't think it's ever beautiful.
"We'll see, my father said. Vamanos."
From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world
of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense,
charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends
were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties,
young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding
adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that
prepared "Boy Wonder," as his father called him, to become a
fearless champion--and ultimately saved his life.
Flying to a ski championship ceremony in February 1979, the
chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father's
girlfriend, and the pilot crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains
and was suspended at 8,200 feet, engulfed in a blizzard. "Dad and I
were a team, and he was Superman," Ollestad writes. But now
Norman's father was dead, and the devastated eleven-year-old had to
descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.
Set amid the spontaneous, uninhibited surf culture of Malibu and
Mexico in the late 1970s, this riveting memoir, written in crisp
Hemingwayesque prose, recalls Ollestad's childhood and the magnetic
man whose determination and love infuriated and inspired him--and
also taught him to overcome the indomitable. As it illuminates the
complicated bond between an extraordinary father and his son,
Ollestad's powerful and unforgettable true story offers remarkable
insight for us all.
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