Buchanan man, 52, takes 1st in national ski competition

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, April 20, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Amateur downhill skier Jim Bosch, who recently took first place in a national ski competition in Utah, continues to get better with age.
The 52-year-old Niles business man beat out 17 other national qualifiers in the expert division of his age bracket at the 2004 Jeep King of the Mountain NASTAR National Championships in Park City, Utah this March.
NASTAR (NAtional STAndard Race) is the largest recreational ski race program in the country. The competition allows ski racing enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to compete against each other in a fun and competitive atmosphere.
He has been competing in regional and state NASTAR competitions for more than 20 years, but has just started traveling to nationals for the past three years. To qualify for nationals a skier must place in the top three at one of the regional competitions.
Bosch, who was a member of the Ferris State University ski team, has shown continued improvements in each year of participation at the national competitions.
In his first year at nationals, he finished fourth, last year he finished second and this year he was the best skier in the 50 to 54 age bracket.
He attributes his continued improvement to training, conditioning, experience and "the heart and desire to keep going faster."
He has also successfully adapted to the new and improved ski equipment that has become available over the last decade. One major improvement is the change from the historically straight ski to a more hour-glass shaped ski.
Bosch's perennial involvement in NASTAR races and other ski competitions stems from his competitive nature.
From January to March, Bosch spends his weekends traveling to any ski race he can find. While he does ski recreationally, it is usually a competition or a race camp that draws him to a particular ski resort.
He also trains heavily in the off season in his workout room that looks like a "baby Gold's Gym."
Hailing from Southwestern Michigan, an area not known for an abundance of ski opportunities, Bosch considers himself an "oddity" at NASTAR nationals.
Bosch's three children, Shannon, Amber and Vince are also avid downhill skiers and have all competed in NASTAR races at one point in their lives. His wife Nancy does accompany him on ski trips up north, but does not ski herself.
At nationals last month, Bosch and the rest of the competitors were inspired to see a 94-year-old man, the only one in his age bracket, finish the race.