Skating through life is not your typical path to success, but it’s working for Ashe County as the sixth annual North Carolina Downhill Race at Mount Jefferson has been designated an official World Cup Event.

For those of us not yet so informed, the race in Ashe County is one of only six World Cup events in, well, the world. The others are in Washington state, Romania, the Czech Republic, the Philippines and Australia.

Skating aside, claiming fame to a world-class sporting event in Ashe County was no easy journey. From humble beginnings, an army of officials, staffers and volunteers have transformed this event into one with worldwide panache — and worldwide reach: according to International Downhill Federation rule, the world championships for the Open Skateboard Class is determined by the racers’ five World Cup finishes. So, to say that for the racers a lot rides on the event in West Jefferson is to say much.

But the overall recognition says more for Ashe County. We’ve always had the physicality for such an event, but it took our community — from those in our service industries to those volunteering and working on the literal sidelines — to embrace the opportunity and reach for the heights.

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