BUTTE - There’s a Butte High School student — who when he’s not studying in class — he’s studying out in the snow to be one of the best cross country skiers he can be.
“I’d say I’ve been doing it since I could walk, I had a pair of little skis you kind of strap over you boots and I have pictures of me doing it probably a year and a half old,” said Max Kluck.
At 17, this Butte High junior has grown into an elite skier as a member of the Bridger Ski Foundation. He was set to represent the U.S. in the Under 18 Nordic Nations Championship in Norway at the end of this month. Unfortunately, his trip was canceled due to COVID-19 precautions.
“We were all kind of frustrated, but we realized it’s not our fault, there’s nothing we could do about it, so we kind of moved on and are focusing on our next goal,” said Kluck.
He trains all year. In the summer, Max trains in mountain bike racing and even won the Butte 100 last summer. When winter comes, he works out at Homestake Lodge on Nordic skiing, a very demanding sport.
“It’s your whole body, when you’re racing, everything starts to hurt. Like, on a bike, you can kind of just shut out your legs; skiing, everything just hurts and you just can’t really shut it out,” he said.
His ultimate goal is to compete in the Winter Olympics.
“That’s always been my dream. In kindergarten I wrote, on the first day of school, the teacher asked us what we wanted to do when we get older, and I wrote in the notebook, ‘I want to go to the Olympics,’ but I didn’t know how to spell ‘Olympics,’ so I just drew the rings,” said Kluck.
“I’ve always loved racing and kind of driving to make myself faster and improving myself. And I just love competition, I’ve always been a super competitive person in every little thing I do and so that just keeps me going,” he said.
And going on to the Junior National Championship in March.