Photos: Learning to ski the Minne-Loppet way

Sports & Leisure Jennifer Simonson · ·

1 Third graders in Robert Lundquist's class at Pillsbury Elementary School take off after getting a brief introduction to ski poles Jan. 15, 2014 at Windom Park. They're participating in the Minne-Loppet program, which provides cross-country ski equipment and coaching during the 8-weeks prior to the City of Lakes Loppet. 
2 Loppet youth coordinator Allie Rykken, left, shows Pillsbury third-grader Jessenia Sinchi Inamagua how to properly hold a ski pole during a ski lesson at Windom Park. 
3 Pillsbury Elementary School third-grader Abdullahi Mahamed concentrates and watches his skis during a lesson at Windom Park in Minneapolis. 
4 Third-grader Awo Hassan, foreground, steadies herself while practicing her cross-country ski technique. 
5 The third graders bundle up in warm winter clothing for their ski lesson. 
6 Pillsbury Elementary School third graders listen to instructions before taking turns skiing down a small hill at Windom Park. 
7 Maaka Nyembo, Priscilla Opdahl and Farhiya Mohamud, left to right, listen to Minne-Loppet coach Allie Rykken give a brief lesson about how to use ski poles. 
8 Leroy Leftwich, a Minne-Loppet volunteer coach and Loppet Foundation board member, comes to the aide of three Pillsbury Elementary School third graders who took tumbles after skiing down a hill. 
9 Third grader Jessenia Sinchi Inamagua laughs despite losing her balance at the bottom of a hill.