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philfell
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Well I've been working on a project for a little while know and finally feel far enough alone to make it public. This is kind of new territory for me, which make it extra exciting for me. I'm currently looking for funding options from pretty much any angle I can think of, and am looking to the hardbooting community for help in coming up with ideas or funds themselves. So if you have any was to helps us along please let me know. Here is a breif project description:

The idea is to take six high level snowboarder to Iran to do the a FIS event in April. As far as I know we will be the first ever US group to go to Iran to compete in a winter sport. US and Iran sporting relations have been nearly non-exsistant in the past, we don't even have an embassy there. Our goal of the trip is to film a documentary that goes far beyond the snowboard competition. We would like to help educate people in the US about a country they know very little of, and are mildly afraid of. We also have a goal of working with the Iranian Ski Federation on setting up a National SBX program to help them possibly qualify some athletes for the 2010 Olympic Games in Whistler. We also plan on taking a week after the competiton to travel in Iran and see some of the amazing places it has to offer.

So far I have been in contact with an amazing group of people who are also excited to see this work, they include:

Graham Wantanabe: 2006 Olympian, 2006 SBX National Champ., 2006 Jeep King of the Mt., and the first US male to win a SBX World Cup.

Zac Kay: US National Team member, World Cup competitor, 2006 Nor-Am Champ.

David Manthei: 3 time Junior World competitor, former Junior National Champ., former US Slalom National Champ.

Tim Heinel: Nor-Am veteren, no stranger to traveling solo to random places to snowboard, like when he placed 2nd in the Slovakian National Champs.

Jeff Greenwood, our camera person: former World G.S. Champ. 2002 Olympian and owner of Str8line Productions.

Magic, I don't know how to begin to spell his last name, our guide: former Iraian Olympic Ski racer, still works very closely with the Iranian National Ski Team.

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You do know why we don't have an embassy in Iran, right??? A bunch of pissed off Iranians stormed the embassy and took a bunch of hostages, held them at gunpoint for 444 days, and mentally tortured the living hell out of them.

Back in the U.S. this event was used for political fuel for Ronald Reagan's election campain which might have helped him beat out Jimmy Carter's bid at re-election. In turn the hostages were given lifetime passes to any major or minor league baseball game by MLB. There was a special on this a month or two back during a late season (or post season) baseball game. Too bad it wasn't lifetime lift tickets to Vail or Aspen!

Looks like Iran is jumping on the UAE bandwagon and trying to promote tourism. It's really a smart thing to do since they realize that oil will not fund their economies forever.

My question would be do the lifts still run during prayer time?!?! :D

As far as fundraising: Maybe a raffle for a nice shiny-new snowboard? Five to ten bucks a ticket or something on a few hundred tickets?

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Cool !

Sounds a little like Nixon's 'ping-pong diplomacy' which began opening doors to China.

I think we've got to start doing something different, because our (western world's) pattern for the last 100 yrs of dealing with the middle east seems to really suck right now.

count me in!

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What if you got ESPN, OLN or maybe MTV to help out? It might be a good way to fund it, get the footage, and broadcast your show on tv for others to see. I remember watching a thing on I think it was ESPN about women playing soccer in liberated Iraq. It was a very nice and great story. I'd be glad to kick some money/time over to you to help out any way I can. Could you give me a little coaching for donations? I'll talk to the owner of the shop I work at to see if he can do anything to help too. I'm sure this might be hard to get going, but it'll be worth it in the end.

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OK count one more athlese in:

Quinn Orb: a very common person to see on a Nor-Am PSL poduim, and one of the most unique guys on tour.

Thanks for the feed back so far. The raffle thing will probably happen along with other items, but the budget to get 9 people to and from Iran, and do a video production is around 50 grand, so I need some bigger ideas. Think outside the box here, I'm sort of stuck.

And yes I do realize the reason why we have no embassy there. I also realize it is poor policy to refuse to talk to a potential nuclear power. This is one of the reasons for the trip. Everyone I've talked to that has actually visited Iran has nothing but great things to say about it. When I ask Americans who have not actually been there all I get is fear, negitivity, and lack of factual knowledge. So I hope to open some doors here and there.

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Fundraising directly from the North American hardbooter crowd isn't a bad idea, but isn't going to net you enough money for an undertaking like this. I'd suggest reaching out to a few different groups.

1) The US Persian community. FYI Persian = Iranian (more or less). There may be some sentiment in this group to help improve US-Iranian relations. There are a lot of very wealthy US Persians (like that lady who just went to the International Space Station). I only know of one Persian hardbooter. He'll weigh in her shortly (and probably scold me for equating Persian with Iranian). Are you listening Kamran?

2) Large outdoor clothing manufacturers. There must be some based in Utah that you have connections into. Folks that come to mind should be companies whose logos will show up in Greenwood's video footage (i.e. Northface Jackets, Dakine Ski bags, etc.)

3) Some governmental organization looking to promote cooperation with Iran. Under the current administration that may be hard to find.

4) One of the oil companies? Maybe a long shot, but if anyone stands to gain by reopening trade with Iran, it seems to me that they would be on the list.

4) MTN Irancell (South African Company that sells cell phone service in Iran), or maybe one of the many companies that sells cut-rate phone service for Iranian/Persian expats.

I'm sure you could raise a few hundred dollars from US Hardbooters, but that's not going to get you too far. You've got a Republican representative in Washington, right? He might be able to help you out until tomorrow. Seriously though, it wouldn't hurt to contact them to see if they know of any sort of gov't cultural outreach sort of thing. They could use all the good PR they can get these days.

Sounds like fun. Good luck.

Oh, and make sure that anyone going on the trip has NO Israel entrance stamps in their passports. If they do, they need to get new passports before they go. And I'd probably advise against wearing a Star of David, Chai necklace, or a yarmulke while you're there.

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Hmm...my name was mentioned above and I guess it's time to post something on Bomber. I was born in Iran myself and used to ski there as a kid (a three hours trip from tehran towards dizin slopes every friday as I remember).

I remember fun stuff, for example, they used to grow grass on one of the slopes and some would even ski on grass in summer months on a slope that was one or two miles long!

Funny thing is, I was planning to visit Iran after so many years this coming march or april. I have no idea as of now on how I can help your effort but let me know and I'll do what I can.

In the mean time; here is a recent clip from skiing in Iran:

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And yes I do realize the reason why we have no embassy there. I also realize it is poor policy to refuse to talk to a potential nuclear power. This is one of the reasons for the trip. Everyone I've talked to that has actually visited Iran has nothing but great things to say about it. When I ask Americans who have not actually been there all I get is fear, negitivity, and lack of factual knowledge. So I hope to open some doors here and there.

I lived in the middle east for four years. Never went to Iran though so I can't say much about that. It's too bad I didn't start boarding until I came back state-side. I've been to Dubai a handful of times and IMHO it's the best middle eastern country by far. Very open-minded people there. You can actually get away with preaching a non-muslim religion in the UAE without getting thrown in jail! Oh yeah you can buy booze too in Dubai! I'm not 100% but Iran might be a dry country (like Saudi). You might wanna check up on that if you got a booze habit!

Perhaps as part of the trip you can go through Dubai and do some footage inside the new indoor ski slope. Hardboots on a 120deg day in Dubai? Now that would be some footage! Just don't get mad when the lift stops during prayer call! :nono:

When the terrorist bombs went off on my compound it was time to go for me and my wife. At least until things start to settle down somewhat. Only two life threatening instances for me in four years-and I was in Saudi. Other instance was dodging 7.62mm sniper rounds on a morning jog. I'd say your odds are pretty good over in Iran in comparison. If you do get kidnapped eat your passport, break out your best Aussie accent, and try not to sound like a Brit! The terrorists don't like us Americans and Brits, but they love them some Aussies! Hell who doesn't like Aussies?!?!?

Just be careful over there is all I'm saying. Even with all the crazy stuff that happened to me I'd definatly go back to the middle east, and if I did I would for sure head over to Iran to hit the slopes. Dunno if I'd take my daughter overseas with me though...

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Thanks for the heads up. But like you said you haven't actually been to Iran itself. From what I've been finding out it would be like judging Mexico while only traveling to Columbia.

Kamran, thanks for the link to the video. I can only dream conditions will be as good when we are there. The resort we will be competing at is Shemshak which is in that video clip.

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For funding try to talk to Warren Miller's company. That sort of documentary would be RIGHT up their alley, and I bet you could get transport AND a film crew while you're there, if you ask really nice. I don't know how the company is now, but when Warren himself was still running it, he was willing to do just about anything to help people out. He actually showed up at a few of his shows here and I remember him talking about something that he was doing to promote his company and in turn, some organization.

Give them a shot, the worst they can say is "no".

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Phil;

I think it's great what you're doing.

The Youtube movie shown in this thread is interesting, but I think you guys could go one better, simply because you're a pack of whities.

Why not get National Geographic to have a look at your storyline? The Ride Guide? Banff Mountain Film Festival?

There is a world conference of instructors in Korea this winter which CASI is going to attend (4 of us). The US is not going because of Kim Jong Il's policys on nuclear power, ect...

It may be risky for you and I to travel to the places we'll be, but if one more person can bring back a positive message, it's worth it.

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ski companies, snowboard companies, softgoods companies and the resorts

Also, there are many non-profits that might be willing to help you out, worth a try

there are rumbling of homeland security being tightend next year though so a trip to Iran could make you a stateless person like the Tom Hanks movie http://sianews.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3023

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this is a noble effort. I don't want to be a wet blanket, but be careful.

whoever goes over must take a good look at their passport well in advance and perhaps get issued a second passport... a lot of countries in that region will deny entry if you've got stamps from the wrong neighbor. this is done but not widely known. technicians and journalists frequently do this.

Use extreme caution in any discussions, you never really know too much about who you are with.

several years ago a fellow engineer was installing a system for the Royal Saudi Air Force. (our two countries at the time were supposed to be really good buddies) For weeks he worked shoulder to shoulder with muslims. Out of the blue, a guy that seemed to be on good terms with my friend said to him "one day I may be called on to kill you." talk about workplace stress!

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For weeks he worked shoulder to shoulder with muslims. Out of the blue, a guy that seemed to be on good terms with my friend said to him "one day I may be called on to kill you." talk about workplace stress!

And he replied with "hahahaha lol n00b. Y dont u go and l@@k @ s7uff!111!!oneone!"

Or something like that.

Basically, what he's trying to say is that you should make sure that one of the kids you're bringing has a parent with a security clearance. That kid will have a CIA tail the entire time he's there, and will intervene if there is any trouble. Just ask the guys in Moscow that wanted me to buy a leather coat that I didn't want :nono: .

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Wasn't there an article in The Snowboarding Journal about just such a trip? With softbooters, of course. I remember some great action shots and some photos of wealthy Iranians on the slopes (not a burqa in sight). I also recall that the boarders felt very safe and were an extreme curiousity and not a considered a threat.

I found it:

http://www.snowboardjournal.com/issue010Iran.html

BTW, I'd go with you in a second if you need a Canadian to carry bags or something.

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I had another idea. I suspect there would be a number of BOL members who might be interested on going on such a trip as a tourist. Perhaps you could offer up a package to folks who could afford to by two. In other words, if I decide to go, I pay twice the price of a single person. Thereby offsetting the cost for one of your "sponsored" ambassadors. It may make it prohibitevely expensive for many people, but it sounds like you'd only need a handful of folks to pony up for it to help a lot.

If I do the math right.

6 riders + Phil=7

$50,000.00/7 = $7150 each.

So I'd have to pay somewhere around $13-14K to go on the trip. Would any part of that be tax deductible? :rolleyes:

It might work. That's the cost of an insane Heli trip in the Chugach for two.

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