FARMINGTON — Two-time Olympic goal medalist Seth Wescott was recognized for his achievements on Friday during a schoolwide assembly at Mt. Blue High School.
Wescott, a 1994 Mt. Blue graduate, had his No. 17 Cougar soccer jersey retired, and was presented a framed copy by soccer coach Joel Smith and Assistant Principal Todd Demmons.
He also was presented with a special Maine license plate that reads, “6GOLD10” in recognition of his efforts in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
Wescott noted he has worn number 17 since his sophomore year in high school here, was assigned that number for his Olympics run, and considers it his lucky number. “It is an honor to have your high school number retired,” he added.
Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, accompanied by his two children who are themselves snowboarders, presented Wescott with the specially designed license plates.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and Stan Kuklinski, MBHS tennis coach, presented Seth with a 1980 Olympics hockey team photograph signed by all of the players from that “impossible dream” team that played at Lake Placid, N.Y.
The interim Farmington postmaster presented a framed enlarged Vancouver Olympics stamp to Seth and a “United We Stand” enlargement to Janet Mills as Maine’s first woman attorney general. A special pictorial Seth Wescott postal cancellation was also offered by the Farmington Post office for the occasion.
Seth’s mother, Margaret Wescott of Farmington, who was a successful high school athlete in her youth, shared some points that lead to success.
“Love each other; respect each other; cultivate curiosity and really look at things; read; play games together; travel the world or go to New Sharon; be of service to other people; work hard; listen to your inner voice; and present yourself with opportunities for creativity,” she said. “Your mind, body and spirit are a complete entity. You have lots of choices. If honest, you can relate to your friends who will encourage you to be who your are,” she added.
She noted, “Seth spent thousands of hours honing his craft so he could be on a board most of the year and get paid for it.”
Seth shared a video of the boarding he does “for fun” in remote Alaska, and said that journey started when he started fifth grade at Ingalls School here. “I grew up here and found something I really liked to do. Follow your love of sports, art, science math — whatever it is. For me, it took thousands of little baby steps all along the way to get there. With faith in yourself, you can make it happen,” Seth told the assembly.
He answered some questions, including what keeps bringing him back to Maine. He noted friends and family and the Sugarloaf community are factors, and decried the fact many talented graduates leave, which is why he works with the OpportunityMaine.com program that helps pay off college loans for students willing to stay and work in Maine for 10 years.
Seth, 33, said he still has “no idea what I will do when I grow up.”
Asked his favorite travel destination, he noted he likes Alaska for boarding, with Ikido, Japan, New Zealand, and South American destinations among other favorites. He spent 3½ years in Switzerland with a girlfriend, he said.
His favorite “trail” at Sugarloaf is “the access road. It means I am making a left turn and am home.”
Asked if he has any superstitions about racing, he noted he always puts his right boot on first. When asked if he has a girlfriend now, he answered “It is hard to have a relationship when you travel so much.”
When asked the most important thing he learned in high school, Seth said it was to “believe in yourself.” He noted English teacher Art Perry was influential in his life and encouraged him to follow his dreams when he transferred to Carrabassett Valley Academy for his senior year in 1994.
“Whatever your dream is, it is important to believe in yourself and follow that dream,” Seth stressed.