Racing Against #8: Defeating Hall of Famer Steve Young on the Slopes with Drake Becker!

By Drake Becker and Family

It’s not every day you get to meet greatness. And it’s even rarer to have the chance to face off with one of the all-time best.

But at the HGGC Steve Young Ski Classic Subaru Athlete Challenge at Snowbird last March, I got to do both — going up against the man himself, Hall-of-Famer and Super Bowl champ, less than an hour after sitting and eating lunch with him!

I had no idea who I was going to race against while we were riding up the lift with my instructor, but I wasn’t really nervous. We got off Chickadee and headed to the top of the race course. There was the Salt Lake Bees team mascot buzzing around as the BYU Cougar mascot pelted him with a snowball.

Everyone was having fun and cheering on the racers when I heard someone call my name.

“Drake! Up to the start!”

We made it to the starting gate for the red course when I looked to the right. There was No. 8 at the top of the blue course.

“Next up we have the mighty Steve Young,” the MC announced. “Against Drake.”

I was clearly the underdog here.

NOW I was feeling nervous, but I wasn’t going to let Steve see that. I’d been here before. I’d raced this course. I’d even had my picture taken with the guy. But I’d never raced against the champ.

So I played it cool and pretended to not recognize him.

I’ve skied with WAS for longer than I can remember, and year after year it’s just given me so much joy and freedom while being able to ski with my family. And the people are amazing. But I was looking to win this race. I’d been training all winter with WAS.

The starting flag dropped.

We pulled away from the start while Steve pushed off with his ski poles. I gripped the sit-ski, and focused on the first gate.

“We’ve got Drake against the young star, Hall-of-Famer Steve Young,” the MC said.

We jumped into the lead. We were already to the second gate by the time he passed the first. He went into a tuck and almost caught up at the third gate. By the fourth gate we were neck-and-neck, both of us carving the course when WHAM! Steve crashed into the fifth gate.

“Oh! he went down,” the MC screeched. “Steve went down, ladies and gentlemen.”

A few turns later I’d done it: I’d beat Steve Young. Like a true champ, he posed for a photo with me after I’d won.

And that’s why we come back year after year – it’s about being part of something and feeling supported. It’s the generosity of those out skiing with me and those who contribute to the program that make it as great as it is.