NENSA, and the entire national TD community is thrilled this award has been bestowed upon Jim, we only wish he could have been here to receive it – he would have been very honored. It it a double whammy that with the pandemic, US Ski & Snowboard Congress was virtual, so the annual dinner and gala where these awards are given out was cancelled too…another lost opportunity to honor Jim, even posthumously, with his life work. I want to share this letter with you all today, with some of the thoughts from his friends and colleagues, sent into U.S. Ski & Snowboard, for Jim’s nomination this year.
A letter from Tiger Shaw, U.S. Ski & Snowboard:
May 15, 2020
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jim Rodrigues on having been selected to receive the 2020 Al Merrill Nordic Award, which is presented to the individual or group involved with any aspect of nordic skiing (cross country, nordic combined or ski jumping), who demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment, leadership, and devotion to excellence.
Each nordic sport committee submits a nominee with the final selection being made by the sport committee chairs. The committees were unanimous in recognizing Jim’s lifetime efforts.
The following was provided for the nomination:
“Jim was a current FIS TD for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, and has been for many years – working with colleges across the US, Canada and South America, on both cross country skiing and rollerski competitions.”
“Jim was planning to retire from his work as a TD and Chief of Competition, and mentor to all, this spring, when he died unexpectedly. But he still made some very major contributions to our Nordic ski community this past season, and even more importantly, in his lifetime.”
“His continued commitment to the annual NENSA TD & Event Organizer training, held the weekend of September 22 & 23. Jim’s presentations and perspective on all matters of TD’ing – as a mentor to our newer group of TD’s in training, and as a colleague to his TD friends, was always inspiring and appreciated.”
“Chief of Comp/Chief of Course for both the first ever Harvard Carnival (January), and for the NENSA Dublin Double Eastern Cup Races (February). A mentor to the Dublin School helping them improve and expand their trail system and start snowmaking there (this past year)”
“Chief of Stadium for the NENSA New England Bill Koch Festival held at Great Glen 2/29 & 3/1 – Jim was there with his dear friend Mouse (Dan Warner – TD for the event) helping him in any matters that needed to be done that weekend. We have no official Chief of Comp or Chief of Race for that Festival, but Jim was there all weekend doing whatever needed to be done, setting up the entire stadium, and helping with all the races.”
“Jim was packing his bags, on his way to be the TD in Lake Placid for a collegiate competition, when he died very unexpectedly.”
“Jim’s passing leaves a huge hole in both our New England Nordic Ski community, as well as with friends and colleagues from across the country, and beyond. We lost a great friend and colleague. Jim was a dear friend to so many. He worked for NENSA for many years as an Event Organizer, as well as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard FIS Technical Delegate official, Chief of Competition, trail designer, coach, mentor and friend to so many of us.”
I am so sorry for this loss.
Tiger Shaw President & CEO