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Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 1914-2014

100 years of excellence

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2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th anniversary Supplement | Steamboat living

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Letter from the Executive Director I am honored to have been selected as the new executive director of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and for the confidence and trust that the club and Steamboat Springs community have extended to me. I am also blessed that my family now calls Steamboat our full-time home after visiting here on vacations for more than a decade. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has a proud, century-old tradition of enriching the lives of thousands of children and young adults. It also has a rich legacy of producing outstanding, world-class athletes and athletic and community events. It has achieved this enduring success through a committed and dedicated team of staff, coaches and community volunteers, who have a passion for developing the youths of our community through participation in winter sports. I’ve always believed that competitive sports is a fundamental part of building character, confidence and leadership skills in children and young adults, which helps them succeed in sports and all areas of their lives. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a talented and dedicated group of individuals in helping about 1,000 kids (including my own) grow in this way every year. It is exciting to watch our athletes learn and master the competitive and life skills necessary to achieve their personal goals and to be the best they can be on and off the slopes. One of our current athletes says it best in a note she wrote this year to the club: “I learn important lessons from my coach, my teammates, my opponents and every competition or training I attend. Every time I jump, I get a little better. Life is the same; every minute I am learning something new, and every day I am learning to fly higher. ... I know that I will continue to find my wings and learn to fly in whatever I choose to do in life.” As we look forward to the 2013-14 winter season, the club and community have much to celebrate: the centennial anniversary of the Winter Sports Club and the city’s Community Olympic Celebration and Olympian Send-Off on Jan. 25. It will be a terrific way for the Club and the community to celebrate our Olympic hopefuls as well as honor the 79 Olympians from the Winter Sports Club who have had 135 Olympic appearances. While we get ready to enjoy these fantastic events, we continue to focus on improving the quality of our athletic programs and improving our training and competition venues. The celebration of the club’s centennial is truly a celebration of community collaboration and support, which come together in a unique way. Our committed staff and coaches, countless volunteers and contributors and the families who entrust their children to us are all instrumental in making the club a success. The club also enjoys tremendous support through the legacy of partnership it shares with the city of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. The club is interwoven into the fabric and history of the local community. These successful partnerships have truly made our community Ski Town USA. I am proud to be a part of the club and look forward to our journey into the next 100 years. On behalf of our entire team, we are excited and enthusiastic to work in partnership with our community to build upon the club’s rich history of achievement and to accelerate the strong momentum and impact the club has had on the Steamboat and international winter sports communities. My best wishes for a fantastic winter season and a successful 2014 Olympic Games, and a toast to the Winter Sports Club’s 100th anniversary and to Ski Town USA! — Jim Boyne, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executive director

Inside 4

By the Numbers


The club in a nutshell


A brief history of the club

12 Wednesday Night Jump Series 13 Memories 17 Family Legacies 24 Q&A with Executive Directors 26 In His Own Words w/ Johnny Spillane Eugene Buchanan Editor Emma Wilson Intern Lindsay Porter Layout Advertising Christy Woodland, Reed Jones, Mike Polucci

Published as a special section of Steamboat Living magazine by the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Celebrating 100 years of excellence, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is a 501(c)3 dedicated to providing the youth of our community the opportunity to become successful individuals and achieve their personal goals through participation in winter sports.

P.O. Box 774487 (shipping: 845 Howelsen Hill Parkway) Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 Ph: 970-879-0695; Fax: 970-879-7993

By the Numbers


Winter Sports Club Olympians (who have gone through the club) Steamboat Olympians (including those who live in the valley)

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Olympic medals won by club athletes



Building Dreams he exhilaration of your first jump, the thrill of how winter speed feels on your face, the dizziness of spinning upside down in the air, the joys of reaching the top of the Poma for the first time, that unplanned fist pump, not for a crowd, not for recognition, just because you are here, in this moment among friends, coaches, competitors and teammates. This is the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, located in the heart of Ski Town USA. The club’s Olympic tradition is wellknown, having produced 79 Olympians who have made 135 Olympic appearances. At the 2010 Games in Vancouver, the Winter Sports Club sent 17 athletes to compete, and they brought home a gold and three silver medals. The club sent more athletes to the 2006 Torino games than 52 other participating countries. Our small, Western ski town has bragging rights for having produced the most Olympians per capita in the U.S. and probably the world. The Winter Sports Club is 100 years old this season, with a youth athletic program seeing more than 20,000 athletes pass through its doors. We have about 1,000 athletes ages 3 to 70 again this year training and competing in more than 54 programs. We offer programming in nine winter disciplines — including Alpine, cross-country skiing, snowboard freestyle, Nordic combined, special jumping, freestyle, freeskiing, Telemark and Alpine snowboard — with a focus on challenging athletes to give their best and reach their personal goals.


courtesy of Tread of pioneers museum


In the past 10 years, the Winter Sports Club also has guided 63 Alpine athletes to successful NCAA skiing careers, another 70 to other collegiate-level programs and 23 cross-country athletes to the NCAA level. But the real story of the Winter Sports Club is youth development. Annually, our young athletes learn the power of hard

Club members Alpine racing at NCAA level in past 10 years

Individual athletes going through its programs every year



Olympians from the club sent to the past two winter Olympics (Torino and Vancouver)

work and goal setting and the ability and commitment to follow through when the going gets tough. Around Howelsen Hill, you will see signs touting determination, commitment, community, perseverance and goal setting. These represent our values and basic tenets. Balancing training hours, homework, family responsibilities, social

12 million Gallons of water used annually for snowmaking on Howelsen Hill

How many centimeters longer the average slalom ski was in the 1900s compared with today’s


2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th Anniversary Supplement | Steamboat living


opportunities and community volunteer responsibilities is part of the life of a Winter Sports Club athlete. Such multitasking and balancing provides our athletes better preparation for life. The Winter Sports Club has been recognized as the U.S. Ski Association’s Club of the Year three times in the past 10 years and was recently voted the association’s event production Club of the Year. “The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is a textbook example of what we’re after in club programs,” USSA CEO Bill Marolt praises. “It offers programs in all USSA sports at the highest level and is a marvelous story of community involvement and leadership and commitment to the kids of their community to give them the opportunity to succeed.” The Winter Sports Club hosts more than 100 events each year, bringing countless competitors, as well as their families and supporters, to the community each season. Their presence contributes $3.4 million to the local community annually. Our club’s home is Howelsen Hill, operated by one of our primary partners, the city of Steamboat Springs. Howelsen is the longest continually operating ski area west of the Mississippi River, offering an array of winter sports venues including Nordic jumps, Alpine race terrain, freestyle mogul and aerial complexes, a terrain park, ski and snowboard cross areas, cross-country trails and beginner terrain. The club also has summer facilities for year-round training needs, including two green, plastic-surfaced Nordic jumps; a water ramp for freestyle athletes; and a trampoline facility, skateboard park and strength-training facility. Our other main partner is Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., which supports our event production by supplying facilities, equipment and staff time on nationally recognized athletic complexes including Alpine

Total programs offered (49 winter, 18 summer)


Number of skiers going through the club from its inception until today


race trails, a mogul and aerial complex, three terrain parks and a half-pipe. Today, the Winter Sports Club is a major source of Olympian training in the West and embodies the spirit of Colorado skiing. Membership and coaching fees vary, with scholarships also available. While our membership is primarily composed of local youth, our reputation also attracts young, talented skiers from throughout the country. All Winter Sports Club athlete fees are subsidized by fundraising efforts and private donations. Only 50 percent of the Winter Sports Club’s operating budget is covered by athlete fees. Although the Winter Sports Club has produced more Olympians and world-class competitors than any other ski club in the nation, not every athlete will have a podium finish or reach the Olympics. But every athlete we coach is blessed with an opportunity to become a success story and successful individual, regardless of athletic ability. Our athletes learn life lessons, from teamwork and leadership to life balance and time management, and how to win and lose with grace. Ensuring positive behavior, sportsmanship and solid moral development while maintaining high academic and athletic performance is the major focus of the club. We aim to teach that each person has the potential to be a success on and off the hill. Every one of us has that special person, time or opportunity that changed the trajectory of our life. We also have memories of the highlights of our youth and the agony of the disappointments. These experiences are what form us as human beings. So stop by Howelsen Hill to smell the chocolate chip cookies, hear the laughter, breathe the fresh, cold air and bundle up to watch the youths of our great community developing their history and their memories to take us into the next 100 years. — Sarah Floyd

Age of oldest living Winter Carnival queen (Jean “Dody” Wegeman Downing, who received the honor in 1946)


Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Mission Statement To provide an opportunity for young athletes to become successful individuals and to achieve their personal goals through participation in winter sports.


Club members Nordic racing at NCAA level in past 10 years

Number of Winter Carnival buttons sold in the past 10 years

We support this mission by: •

Building self-confidence, sportsmanship and the self-esteem of all athletes

Insuring that every child who has the desire to participate is given the opportunity

Maintaining the finest and most diverse training facilities in North America

Granting scholarship and financial assistance

Instilling life-long enthusiasm for winter sports and an active lifestyle

Requiring high academic standards

Building national and Olympic champions

Aspiring to the highest level in coaching quality and standards

Offering affordable programming with the help of public fundraising support

Encouraging athletes of all ages to grow with their sport, learning how to win, how to lose and, most importantly, how to give their best.


Years served by club’s longest working coach (Deb Rose, Nordic)

532 Pounds of ski wax used each year by the club


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• Adven tu re • Individual Succe s s • C o u r a ge

Excellence • Perseverance • Friendship • Fun • Goal Setting

• Character • Passion • Community •

• Personal Best • Respect • Team • Memories 2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th anniversary Supplement | Steamboat living

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A brief history of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Excerpted from “The History of Skiing in Steamboat Springs”


ormed in 1914 to plan and promote the first Winter Carnival on Woodchuck Hill, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is the oldest ski club west of the Mississippi. Throughout its history, it’s morphed from a club focused on social outings for long-skirted ladies and bewhiskered gents in the 1920s to introducing local children to the joys of the sport and training top athletes in Nordic jumping, Alpine skiing, cross-country, snowboard,

Telemark, freestyle and freeskier programs. Throughout, it’s remained a volunteer effort designed “to create, develop, educate and interest the community in the sport of skiing, ski jumping and all other winter sports.” Organizers for the first Winter Carnival were recruited from local businessmen who agreed to put up prize money. This then became a permanent club affiliated with the National Ski Association that

hosted the National Jumping Distance Championships in 1916. The Steamboat Springs Ski Club was proposed March 16, 1917, when “a small bunch of loyal boosters” agreed to create the “biggest club in the country.” During a packed meeting in the district courtroom, the club adopted bylaws, selected club colors and a uniform, and launched a membership campaign open to “any person of good standing in the community”

The high school marching band on skis debuted in 1935. courtesy of Tread of pioneers museum

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upon payment of $1. The names of new members were published in the newspaper. The S.K.I. Club, a ladies auxiliary to the all-male Steamboat Springs Ski Club, was formed March 9, 1917, “to create, develop and sustain interest in ladies’ skiing and in all outdoor sports ... and aid and foster the carnival spirit.” It merged with the men’s club in 1927, only after President Antoinette Welton cautioned its 43 members that, “We must see to it that the women do not do all the work.” The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club was officially incorporated Oct. 11, 1949, by Gates Gooding, Basil Hallquist and William Allen. Trucking firm president Basil Hallquist was elected the first official president and Walter Leypoldt secretary of the nine-member board of directors. Since then, the membership has annually elected three directors to three-year terms. A full-time paid club secretary was hired in 1957, during which time the club was sustained by volunteers who helped coach a junior program for 60 skiers and a school program for 150. During the 1960s, the club instituted coaching fees averaging $200 a season. The club relied heavily upon bake sales to meet its $20,000 annual budget and launched massive fundraising efforts. It sent 12 Olympians to the Olympics during the 1960s, including current locals Moose Barrows, Loris Werner and Scott Berry. The club hired Walt Evans as its first executive director in 1977 and vastly expanded its programs, including the addition of freestyle. Its annual budget increased to $50,000, and the coaching staff expanded to 15. When it became impossible for the club to finance improvements needed at Howelsen Hill, it entered an agreement with the city, which still stands today, giving the city the lodge, Poma lift, lift shack and all other equipment in exchange for $30,000. The city, which never relinquished ownership of the land, became responsible for scheduling, operation and maintenance of the complex. The club was given priority use of the hill and was required to maintain insurance, with the city receiving all lift ticket revenues. During the 1980s, the club’s budget increased to $150,000, and the coaching staff increased to 20. By 1987, the club employed 26 coaches for 260 participants and operated on a $230,000 budget, 40 percent of which was covered by fees. During this time, the Winter Sports Club sent 10 athletes to the Olympics in a variety of disciplines. The 1990s continued this success with the club sending 36 athletes to three Olympics. It also installed the Howler Alpine Slide to provide financial sup-


Several fundraisers have become community traditions, including the Ski Swap, initiated in 1951 by Gordon Wren “to help parents and children get needed ski equipment without breaking the bank”; and the Ski Ball, which originated with the first Winter Carnival and is now called the Stars at Night Gala. Founded in 1974, the annual Winter Sports Club Scholarship Day is hosted by Steamboat Ski Area on the first day of each season, with 100 percent of ticket revenue donated to athlete programming fees. This Scholarship Day has contributed more than $750,000 to athletes since 1991. The Moose is Loose Golf Tournament occurs every September to offset travel expenses for junior athletes qualifying for national championship events. The tournament is organized by Moose Barrows and has raised more than $146,000 in scholarships over the years. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Foundation was incorporated in 1982 to create an endowment to assist amateur skiers, promote junior skiing, train amateur teams, and provide trophies. The goal of this club is to raise $10 million to support the club on an annual basis. Currently, athlete fees at the club cover about half of the operating budget. Fundraising and donations cover the other half. The club currently has a staff of 140 and an annual operating budget of 2.2 million. The club is poised to enter its second century with strong athletic focus, solid philosophy, community support and national and international recognition in all disciplines.

SSWSC Timeline 1914 Winter Sports Club founded, first Winter Carnival, Nordic jumping and cross-country programs debut, first jump built at Howelsen 1917 First Alpine slope opens at Howelsen Hill, Henry Hall breaks 200-foot jumping distance

1915 First Winter Carnival street events 1916 First club in Rocky Mountains to join National Ski Association, hosts first National Jumping Championships 1931 Alpine racing program introduced

1932 John Steele, first Winter Sports Club Olympian, competes at Lake Placid

1935 Debut of high school marching band on skis

1936 First Lighted Man

1937 Night skiing introduced at Howelsen Hill

1938 First ski lift installed 1944 Dryland training introduced, Al Wegeman becomes first full-time paid ski coach, skiing accredited as part of public schools 1952 Six Olympians compete in Oslo 1957 Little Toots program begins, Bud Werner wins Hahnenkamm at Kitzbuhl 1960 Five Olympians compete in Squaw Valley 1968 Three Olympians compete in Grenoble, including Jim “Moose” Barrows, whose crash gets documented by ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” as “The Agony of Defeat” 1973 First Soda Pop Slalom 1974 First Wednesday night jump and Town Challenge race 1978 Freestyle program introduced 1980 Three Olympians compete in Lake Placid 1992 10 Olympians compete in Albertville, Nelson Carmichael wins bronze in moguls, Olympian Hall built 1995 Snowboard program introduced

1939 First night show at Winter Carnival 1948 Hosts first Junior Nationals, one Olympian competes in St. Moritz 1951 First Ski Swap 1956 Six Olympians compete in Cortina 1958 First Torchlight Parade 1964 Four Olympians compete in Innsbruck 1969 Barrows wins North American Downhill Championships 1972 Howelsen ski jumps burned to the ground in protest of Denver’s bid to host 1976 Olympics, one Olympian competes in Sapporo 1976 One Olympian competes in Innsbruck 1977 Walt Evans hired as first executive director 1988 Seven Olympians compete in Calgary 1991 Howelsen Hill opens first cross-country trails 1994 First World Cup Nordic combined held at Howelsen 1998 15 Olympians compete in Nagano, Shannon Dunn wins bronze in snowboarding

2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th Anniversary Supplement | Steamboat living


1999 First half-pipe installed, David DeHaven Strength Training Center opens 2001 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Foundation established 2003 Water ramp complex built at Bald Eagle Lake 2004 Telemark and cycling programs begin, winter enrollment exceeds 1,000 athletes, paid coach and staff exceed 100, STAMP (strength, talent, athleticism, motivation and perseverance) slogan adopted, in memory of Ashley Stamp (1991-2004) 2010 17 Olympians compete in Vancouver bringing home seven medals, Johnny Spillane wins first U.S. Nordic combined Olympic medal (silver), club hosts first Telemark World Cup 2014 Winter Sports Club celebrates 100 years of providing area youths educational and athletic opportunities to reach their personal best in all aspects of life

2000 Howler Alpine Slide opens, freeskier program launched, athlete travel program established 2002 First Olympian send-off celebration held for 15 athletes competing in Park City, Travis Mayer wins silver in moguls 2005 Hosts Disabled World Cup 2006 20 Olympians compete in Torino, plastic installed for summer jumping 2007 Tubing operations debut to help fund programs 2012 Centennial Campaign raises funds to install plastic on second jump 2013 Club celebrates 100th Winter Carnival and seven World Championship podiums, including gold by Arielle Gold; freeskier, snowboard programs receive airbag donation; on-snow training opens on earliest date (Nov. 12)

Congratulations SSWSC

Alternative training at the Old Town Hot Springs.

port to operations. By 2000, the club began operating in the black, and it has functioned debt free since 2003. This has allowed for more extensive fundraising efforts, resulting in the building of a water ramp complex at Bald Eagle Lake and the installation of plastic on the HS 45 and 75 Nordic jumps for offseason training. During the 2000s, the club sent 40 athletes to two Olympic games, with Travis Mayer bringing home a silver medal in moguls from the 2002 games in Park City. At the Torino Olympics, it had more athletes than 52 other countries. The club also has continued to strengthen its relationship with local schools, requiring athletes to maintain schools’ eligibility requirements. — Suvera Towler


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Hitchens Brothers Wednesday Night Jump Series P

erhaps no other activity better epitomizes the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s embracement of the community than its annual Hitchens Brothers Wednesday Night Jump Series, an open competition on Howelsen Hill’s 20- and 50-meter jumps that regularly brings the whole town out to channel their inner Icarus. The series got its start in 1974 when local Melvin Hitchens fi rst introduced the Old Man’s Jumping Club. A year later, it was opened to youngsters, and it’s been held ever since. That it’s here at all owes itself to the three Hitchens brothers — Calvin, Errold and Melvin — and their high-flying upbringing. Calvin was the son of Chester Hitchens, a founding member of the Routt County Cattlemen’s Association, and his wife, Jennie Cullen, whose families homesteaded Elk River ranches (Errold and Melvin had a different father, Albert). Their grandfather James was one of three brothers who left Cornwall, England, to start some of the first ranches in Routt County. Calvin was the town’s champion boy’s jumper in 1931 and Gordon Wren’s skiing

companion. Errold was the resort’s fi rst paid ski patrolman, helped build the Christie and Thunderhead lifts and helped install Howelsen’s Poma lift in 1970. He also was an active member of the sports club, riding the Saturday train from Hayden to compete on the 60-meter jump with Bud Werner. Melvin, affectionately dubbed “Steamboat’s oldest ski bum,” contributed more than $100,000 to the club since 1976, when he began billing the county for a road across his property accessing the Milner dump to help fund club operations. He was a B class competitor in high school, though he seldom finished milking cows early enough to ride a sled 13 miles to town for training. His support of jumping has continued even after his death at age 83, with the jump series funded by his estate. “His goal was to make sure that jumping could be available to all people of all ages,” Winter Sports Club Director of Athletics Sarah Floyd says. “As he grew older and his health was failing, he was faithful to the kids at SSWSC.”

Kia Jensen may just represent the next generation of ski jumpers and Nordic combined skiers who call Steamboat Springs home.

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Members share reflections of participation Marsh Gooding

I practically grew up at the club. Club member from 1990 to 2006, raced for University of Vermont, World Junior Championships, multiple FIS wins, real estate/renewable energy developer/entrepreneur

Tim Magill

I practically grew up at the club. I remember spending cold fall evenings after school at Howelsen playing games on the baseball fields as the days got shorter. It didn’t feel like dryland training — it was just fun. None of us could wait for the snow to fall and begin another ski season. Between ski jumping, snowball fights, scoldings from the lift crew, spectacular crashes and endless runs, I managed to become a real ski racer. By high school, the group of serious ski racers my age had been pared down to about a dozen. We spent a lot of time on the road and had a blast. The sport took me all over the U.S., to Europe and even to South America. It was a great experience. It didn’t matter if I was half a world away from home; when I stepped in the starting gate, I knew the game and was comfortable. I developed a confidence that served me well in racing and in life. I’d return home with stories from the road and the motivation to keep improving as a racer, student and person. For me, it was about the process — enjoying the new places, the early mornings, the painful workouts, the mind-numbing cold, the piles of homework, and the thrill of putting yourself out there to measure up against the competition. I still love playing around over at Howelsen Hill. The sheer volume of kids playing hard on any night is inspiring. I love being another one of the kids out there. With any luck, my kids will have a chance to grow up as members of the club also. 

John Leffler

What have I gotten myself into?

Head Alpine coach from 1975 to 1985, Quantum Sports International founder My first memory of Steamboat was looking for a place to get breakfast. The only thing moving on Lincoln Avenue was a giant tumbleweed rolling down the street. I wondered, “What have I gotten myself into?” Ten years later, the Winter Sports Club was

competitive at the national level in Alpine, freestyle, cross-country, combined and jumping. The discipline head coaches inspired one another, and the interaction of the coaches and athletes stimulated an optimum athletic environment. The likes of Mike Devecka (cross-country/combined), Walter Steiner (jumping) and Park and John Smalley (freestyle) provided unparalleled direction to their athletes. The culture that developed during these years is part of what is now Ski Town USA.

Is that ever going to be me?

Pro downhill racer, gelande jumper, speed skier, 10-year downhill coach for the Junior and Senior Nationals I joined the Winter Sports Club’s Little Toots program in 1963 at age 4. Back then, you were on one pair of skis that did it all: slalom, downhill and jumping. I basically grew up at the club and was a four-way competitor until age 12 when I had to choose. I went to Alpine mainly because I got tired of always packing the jumps. I wanted to ski. I raced through high school, made it to the Junior and Senior Nationals and earned a scholarship to the University of Wyoming. I got hooked on gelande jumping because it was a fun way to make some extra money on the weekends. I also did a couple of pro downhill races. After that, I started coaching Little Toots and was the traveling downhill coach for the Junior and Senior Nationals for 10 years. I’ve always admired those athletes who returned to coach and give back to the program, and I wanted to do the same. I also got into speed skiing, reaching 147 mph in 2006. My mom, Mary Magill, volunteered a lot for the club, as well. The club still gives the Mary Magill Skimeister Award every year to the best skier in all disciplines. The club was a great opportunity, with great peers and role models. For a sleepy little cow town, it gave you a chance to conquer the world. As a kid, you’d see the older guys come off the jump and say to yourself, “Is that ever going to be me?” Then

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one day, it is. I made lifelong friends there and in other ski towns throughout the world. It’s a magical hill and club. Seeing all those kids there today brings tears to my eyes.

Nancy Barrows Gray

We learned to love winter, snow, skiing, cold and friends.

Longevity & Perseverance Tradition of Excellence

SSWSC we salute you. Happy 100th. Collegiate racer, volunteer, ski instructor The 1950s and 1960s were wonderful times in Steamboat. Howelsen Hill was the best playground in the world. We learned to love winter, snow, skiing, cold and friends. We were exposed to competition and winning and losing, but mostly I learned a lot about life. The big kids were annoyed by the little kids, the little kids worshipped the big kids and in the end, the big kids would have risked their lives for anyone in the club. After I finished racing, I was given the opportunity to coach, my favorite job of all time. If I could afford to be a full-time coach, I would. It helped me gain a passion for competition and success. It also gave me a clearer understanding of what many adults had sacrificed through hours of volunteering to help me follow my dreams. I learned as many life skills coaching as I did racing. Hopefully, it helped me make a difference in young lives. We hear about the village that it takes to raise a child. Club members helped my children grow into athletes with a passion for their sports and the appreciation of adults that care for them. I currently help put on the Moose is Loose Golf Tournament, which helps athletes whose families can’t afford the program. This is what the club stands for: giving kids the opportunity to grow up in a community that allows them to learn about life, competition, winning, losing and a passion for the magic of winter.

Clarence and Anna Light circa 1920s

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Tammie Bowes Delaney

In kindergarten the teachers had to undo my counting skills, as I only knew how to count down: 5-4-3-2-1-Go! Former racer, volunteer, owner of Wild Goose Coffee at the Granary The Winter Sports Club was always part of my life growing up.

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Being the last of seven kids in a ski racing family, it was simply “what we did.” In kindergarten, the teachers had to “undo” my counting skills as I only knew how to count down: “5-4-3-2-1Go!” My family considered this one of the more important things to learn in life — how to race. I never considered myself much of a racer as the norm in our family was competing at nationals and beyond. Racing was more of a way to be with family, friends and tag along for the fun. My fondest memory, and what shaped my life, was the commitment my parents (Bill and Marie Bowes) had for the club. A great volunteer work ethic evolved toward Winter Sports Club endeavors. It wasn’t entitlement; if you raced, you contributed. From an early age, this meant complete family devotion to volunteering for club activities, from running the concession stand to turning our backyard into a Christmas tree sales lot (where Mom not so wisely placed the trees in the creek, freezing them frozen solid). We also undertook wreath-building as a fundraiser, turning the upstairs of our garage into a factory. This meant boxes of pine cones, evergreens, moss, rose-hips and whatever else could be wired on, collected year-round by Mom. It seemed like a bunch of elves, busily wiring Styrofoam forms into art pieces. We also sold hot chocolate at the Poma. Mom would make quite the concoction that the lift crew would sell. Dad helped build the Poma. Each family had to hand dig a tower hole, which doubled as dryland training. During the Ski Swap, Mom

would disappear for a month, planning, tagging and color dotting. Then came the housing trades, which meant sleeping on floors and couches of other families, making spaghetti dinners for 30 and becoming great friends with other racers throughout the region. The rope tow on our back hill also was a great hangout. Dad’s favorite pastime was timing us on crazy tight slaloms under lights. There was always a crowd there, which continues today with the third generation of Bowes-Beauregards. It transformed our back hill into an amusement park where my older brothers would play Michelin Man by forming trains of inner-tubers trying to take out the poor idiot stacking tubes beyond eyesight. It’s amazing anyone was able to race the next day. During the terrible snow year of 1976-77 before there was snowmaking, we pumped water from the creek onto the hill. Club members then trained gates on Homer Seepage. You could see the grass under a foot of ice. There was a lot of work, camaraderie, volunteerism, family and community involvement to make racing happen. This commitment still resides within me today as a result. It took a community to make it happen.

Ruth McClelland

Most winter weekends were spent traveling. 30-year ski instructor/ski school supervisor, PSIA board member, volunteer My family moved to Steamboat in 1955 so my father, Rudi Schnackenberg, could take over the running of Howelsen Hill from Gordy Wren. I was one of many young skiers who would walk every afternoon after school to Howelsen to ski and train with the club. During the next 10 years, most winter weekends were spent

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traveling with the family to ski races held throughout the state. As soon as I could work, it all went toward the expenses of racing. There were no scholarships. Dad, as coach, was so proud of the team when traveling to an event and the hotel and restaurant owners would congratulate him on our good manners and respect as well as our ability to race. Our group dynamics, dedication to the club and hard work were seen in such duties as locking arms to boot pack the jump landing before a big competition. The fond memories of all the hard work, cold days, lifelong friends and life lessons are still engrained in me.

Ty Lockhart

It was like the “Wide World of Sports” agony of defeat.

Former racer, volunteer, owner of F.M. Light & Sons In the 1950s and ’60s, Winter Carnival was the same celebration but much more competitive. Its races drew people from around the state as qualifiers for the Junior Nationals. They weren’t everybody-gets-aribbon events. The big hill event was one of the biggest jumping competitions in the country. The list on the wall at Howelsen shows how the North American records increased each year. The whole outrun would be filled with people cheering. My dad was in charge of the carnival for several years. One year, I got to go up in the judges’ tower and schlep papers around. I’d watch the jumpers and try to figure out how the judges awarded points. I’ll never forget when we saw a jumper come down the inrun, get out of the tracks and fly off the side, crashing way over to the side of the normal landing area. It was like the “Wide World of Sports” agony of defeat. People remembered it for a long time.  There also were competitive cross-country races at the carnival. I remember it being so cold that one racer, Ted Farwell, finished with saliva and snot frozen from his nose down to six inches below his chin. This summer I talked with someone from the original 10th Mountain Division who remembered it, too.  On the last night, there was always a big banquet for competitors in the old junior high gym, where the club gave out medals. With all the hoopla, it was a Sunday night to behold. I still remember my coach Gordy Wren giving the speech at one of them. 

Lindsay Lockhart

Winter Sports Club made it all happen. Two-time overall Junior Olympic champion, racer for Dartmouth College, owner and manager of F.M. Light & Sons When you live in a town of Olympians, anything short of

participating in the Olympics really isn’t that notable. What is notable is the effect all of that training, hard work, competition and experiences had on me and my fellow athletes. It shaped our lives and changed us forever. Coaches like Werner Schnydrig and Rob Worrell taught us intense discipline and how to be true competitors. One of the athletes I raced with from age 6 through the NCAAs, Emmy Barr, was my maid of honor. The people I met through the club truly changed my life. Ski racing has shaped my life positively in so many ways, and the Winter Sports Club made it all happen.

Sue Beauregard Rife

When I think about the Winter Sports Club, I almost tear up. Former racer, volunteer, artist/photographer When I think about the Winter Sports Club, I almost tear up. It seems like my whole life has been part of this awesome organization. I grew up in the club, along with my six siblings, as did my own children. When you add up the coaching fees, equipment, season passes, race entry fees, lodging and travel expenses, it’s literally priceless. But in return, you get a young adult who knows how to compete in the world, how to travel, how to manage money and how to communicate and get along with others, all while attending school. A typical day involved getting up early, working out at the gym, attending school, ski training, doing homework, then going to bed. As a parent watching this schedule, I simply don’t know how they kept it up. It has to be the love of the sport and the camaraderie that lasts a lifetime. It also takes parental commitment, volunteering for fundraisers, races and events as well as becoming a taxi service for training. When our sons were 11 and 13, their father was paralyzed in an accident and suddenly our income dropped. Because of the scholarship program, they still were able to train, race and travel. We can’t thank the club enough for assisting us so they could continue their love of skiing. Now that our sons are parents, they too are enrolling their own children into Winter Sports Club programs; and again, it almost brings tears to my eyes.

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Family legacies

We all remember “All in the Family” from the Archie Bunker era. But at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, that plays out in real life every day, generation after generation. Families’ commitments to the club are a cornerstone of its strength, with parents proud to give their children the same opportunities they had growing up in Ski Town USA. Following is a look at a few Steamboat families embodying the Winter Sports Club’s multigenerational spirit.

The DelliQuadris

When Esther and David (Dell) DelliQuadri moved to Steamboat Springs in 1970, it didn’t take them long to become involved in the club. Esther already was familiar with town from attending The Lowell Whiteman School and working on the resort’s first ski patrol, and Dell was a ski jumper for the University of Colorado, so they fit right in. So did their three young children, Terry, Winnie and Tracy. “I remember Terry coming home one day asking, ‘Mom, can I go to dryland training?’” says Esther, who was recently nominated for the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. “That was our first introduction to the sports club.” Their involvement snowballed from there. Esther went on to run its Ski Swap fundraiser for 15 years and volunteer for a host of other duties. Dell served as board president and helped launch the Wednesday Night Jump Series and the club’s operation of the Poma lift. “The club’s a real institution here,” Esther says. “It’s a fantastic, unique program that we were very involved in.” Their kids flew the flag also. All three attended the club through high school, with Winnie and Terry racing for Dartmouth, and Terry becoming a four-time NCAA All-American and racing on two World Junior Championships teams and several World Cup races. All three have kids involved also, including Terry’s kids (Cisco, Peppi and Esther Rose), Winnie’s son (Cash) and Tracy’s children (Theo and Addison). “Dad still loves coming down to watch Esther Rose jump in Nordic combined,” says Terry, who coached at the club for five years before becoming a development director for the U.S. Ski Team. “It’s the highlight of his day. The club’s been a prominent part of three generations of DelliQuadris.” Winnie has found memories, as well. “I remember having Nancy Gray as my instructor,” says Winnie, recalling the achievement stripes she proudly earned on her ski jacket. “We were all pretty involved.”

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The Allens

For the Allen family, the club was just another seat at the dinner table. Consider its four-generation hierarchy. Their namesake clothing company was founded by Tod’s grandfather, George, and father, Bill, in 1949. Both were active in the club, with George serving as mayor of Steamboat and helping build town’s early Nordic jumps in the 1920s and Bill an avid skier and volunteer. Bill kept the tradition going with his kids — Lon, Tod and Gina — with Lon and Tod racing. A 33-year ski patrolman at the resort, Lon kept the tradition going for his children, Scott and Jenny, with Jenny racing for the University of Colorado. Lon and his wife, Eileen, volunteered extensively for the club, receiving the John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member Award in 2007-08. The Allens’ cousin from their mother’s side, Carol Sue Stehley, was a Winter Carnival queen in the mid-1950s. Her dad, Jack Stehley, shuttled kids ceaselessly to races and volunteered in other capacities. The family of Tod’s wife, Robin, also had a strong club presence. Her dad, Crosby Perry-Smith, moved to town after an

The Heids Perhaps no family better exemplifies the Winter Sports Club than the Heids, led by fourth-generation Steamboat native Ray Heid. Born and raised in the Yampa Valley, Ray’s father, Bob, served as president of the club in the 1950s as well as its long-time jumping judge. Bob’s wife, Ruby, was the sister of Steamboat icon Hazie Werner. Donning skis at age 3 to ride the boat tow up Howelsen Hill, Ray grew up skiing in the club with his cousins, the Werners, of ski racing fame (Buddy, Skeeter and Loris). He went on to become a four-way skier (downhill, slalom, jumping and cross-country) for the University of Wyoming before making the 1960 Olympic ski jumping team as a fore-jumper. He served as head ski coach at Wyoming before running the Sierra Blanca ski area in New Mexico. He later owned seven ski shops, four in Breckenridge and three at Sierra Blanca, before returning to Steamboat in 1985 to run the family’s 280-acre Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch near Clark. Ray’s brother, Corkey, was also a longtime club member and jumper who qualified for the 1956 Cortina Olympics and eventually headed the Steamboat ski patrol, as was Del, who skied for the University of Wyoming and later ran the resort’s lift department. Ray’s children, including daughter Hillary, now 44, and son Rowan “Perk,” 42, also are avid skiers, with Hillary becoming a Winter Carnival attendant at age 18. Her two daughters, Sawyer, 15, and

The Temples    

While Jim Temple is known for founding Storm Mountain Corp., which became Steamboat Ski Area, the lifelong rancher and skier, along with his wife, Audrey, also fostered a deep commitment to the club. Working the Focus Ranch, his father and grandfather homesteaded near Slater, Wyo., he left to serve in the Navy, returned and married Audrey, and then spent several winters in Sun Valley, Idaho, as the resort’s ski patrol director. Upon returning, they became active in the club, with Audrey founding the club’s Little Toots program in 1956. “She modeled it after the similar Papoose program in Sun Valley,” son Jeff says. “She named it after a children’s book she read to us called ‘Little Toot, the Engine that Could.’”  In summer 1958, Temple and a few helpers began felling trees and clearing the first trails beneath the current Christy chairlift. The trails eventually would form Steamboat Ski Area, which Jim opened in 1962 with one Poma lift. All the while, Jim watched his kids compete in the club and supplied the medals for the Little Toots program.  With skiing the cornerstone of their existence, the Temples had four children — Jeff, Jamie, Lisa and Kristin — all of whom grew

Olympic ski jumping career and was the head club coach in the mid-1950s Tod and Robin’s children — Anya, Thomas and Kristopher — all raced for the club, as well. “It’s a fantastic program,” The Allen clan (left to right): Kris, Tom, Lon, Anya, Tod says. “They Tod, Jenny and Scott. keep the focus where it should be: on getting as many kids involved as possible and giving them a positive experience. That’s way more important than how many Olympians it produces.”

Bailey, 12, are also skiers in the club, with Sawyer voted a Carnival princess at age 5, making six generations of Heids carrying the club torch. Hillary’s husband, Chris, is also a regular club volunteer. “I guess you could say that the club embodied us, and we embodied it,” says Hillary. “Our DNA is pretty tied in with both racing and the club.”

Bob, Corkey, Ray and Delby Heid at the base of Howelsen Hill. Bob is wearing his club sweater and the three boys are wearing matching sweaters made by their mother, Ruby (circa 1950).

up racing in the club. Jamie joined the U.S. Ski Team as a downhiller and raced on the pro circuit, and Jeff was an All American for the University of Colorado’s four-time NCAA-crown-winning ski team and raced slalom and GS on the pro tour. Buddy Werner and Jim Temple. The tradition continues with Jeff and Kim Temple’s sons, Parker, 16, and Brandon, 14, also growing up in the program. Jeff has served on the club’s board for the past 10 years, and credits much of his success in life, from developing Steamboat’s Storm Mountain Ranch and Marabou, to his upbringing at the club. “I love the club,” he says. “It’s the backbone of the whole town. On any day of the week at Howelsen, you can see half of the town’s kids training and having fun. It’s wonderful for our kids to have such a great opportunity.”

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The Withers

Scott Wither’s great grandfather, Archibald, moved to Hahn’s Peak from Scotland in the 1880s, well before Carl Howelsen ever founded the Winter Sports Club. And you can bet that his clan used skis to get around during the long, cold winters. His lineage still continues to do so five generations later, thanks largely to their involvement in the club. Archibald’s son, Robert, was jumping the 90-meter at age 9 as a club member and was named a first alternate to the 1936 Olympics in Bavaria, Germany. He also helped build the original boat tow on Howelsen Hill as well as its first chairlift. Archibald’s other son, Pete, was also a renowned jumper and coach for the club. Running a general store in Steamboat, Robert fathered in 1942 son, Pete, who also came up through the club’s ranks, skiing with the Werner clan and racing for Western State College; and son John, yet another Wither racer. Robert’s sister, Dorothy, founded the Tread of Pioneers Museum and is the dedicatee of Sureva Towler’s book, “The History of Skiing in Steamboat Springs.” While Pete’s wife, Barbi, served on the club’s board for many years, Pete co-founded the Winter Sports Club Foundation and started the ski patrol’s fire-hoop jumping shenanigans during Winter Carnival. Cactus Beauregard, Dave Connor, Scott Wither, Scott Borden (behind Robert and his wife, Frances, as well as Pete and Barbi, were also skis), Jeff Yeager, Nick Ross (behind skis), Linus Vaitkus and Cord Such. voted the Carnival’s Grand Marshals. The Wither link to the club hardly ends there. Pete’s son Scott raced on the U.S. Ski Team for five years in super-G, GS and slalom and was a first alternate to the 1994 Olympics. He was also an old son, Owen, is in the club’s Little Vikings program. “The club is age class coach for seven years. Pete’s daughter, Tiffany, also raced great. What better activity could a kid want? It has everything. You just go over there and figure out what you love.” on the club, as did her daughters, Skylar and Sophie. Pete, who went on to run the resort’s ski patrol for two decades, “I remember when I was 11 jumping gelande off the 70-meter agrees. “It’s a great club to grow up with,” he says. “Even though I with my dad, and the announcer said we were the youngest and always came in second to the Barrows and the Werners.” oldest gelande jumpers in the country,” says Scott, whose 6-year-

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The Lockharts

When the population of a mountain town is less than 2,000, there aren’t multiple organizations composing the ski culture. And in Steamboat, that culture was embodied in the Winter Sports Club. That’s how Annabeth Light Lockhart, 91, and her husband, Lloyd Gerald Lockhart, 92, remember Steamboat and the club as they grew up. The two were born and raised in Steamboat, with Annabeth’s grandfather, Francis Marion Light (F.M. Light) moving to Steamboat in 1905, the same year he opened F.M. Light & Sons, which is now entering its fi fth generation of family ownership. High school sweethearts who married shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor (they were skiing on Rabbit Ears when it happened), the two credit the club for instilling skiing and life lessons.  Annabeth recalls that “the ski club that jumped over at the hills” also organized day trips and ran Winter Carnival. “I was proud to be a member,” she says. “In the early ’30s, quite a few of us girls jumped, including Cleo Armstrong, Doris Harwig, Gloria Gossard, Billie Holderness and myself. Doris’ dad was president of the club. After Sunday school, he’d ski ahead with a big pot of coffee, start a fi re and have it ready when we got there. It was special to be able to tag along with the men while they were skiing.”  The groups would ski up to “the reservoir” on Spring Creek, the hot springs and other places. “It was a lot of fun,” says Annabeth, likely one of the oldest club members alive. “I never would have gotten to do those things if the ski club didn’t organize them.” Lloyd, who served as president of the club in the ‘60s, recalls Winter Carnival as the biggest event of the year. “It was really necessary for the town and had to be run right,” he says. He remembers one year when kids came all the way from

Annabeth Light’s parents, Clarence and Anna Light.

Alaska and even the Air Force to compete during the fi rst year it was televised. “There was a big uproar,” he says, adding that competitors had to be housed in the local gymnasium. “It was a stormy weekend, so we didn’t know when we were going to start, but the TV crews only had a certain time slot.” He also recalls convincing the Alaskan girls that snow snakes were real and existed here. “They were quite worried,” he says. As with Annabeth, he also recalls skiing up on Rabbit Ears, but “not just cross-country,” he says. “We’d pack a hill and slalom on it.” He also has fond memories of skiing with Jim Temple, who ended up marrying Annabeth’s younger sister, Au-

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drey, and touring across Rabbit Ears Pass with him to the top of Storm Peak to decide whether to build the ski area there. “I was the fi rst one to ski down, but I had a heck of a time going through the trees,” he says. The two, who were named Grand Marshals of Winter Carnival in 2005, also remember when Hazel Light (Annabeth’s sister) skied in the fi rst Diamond Hitch Parade in 1931, an event started by the Ladies Recreation Club to give the carnival street events “some color, style, beauty and grace in skiing.” The event was judged on beauty of costumes, holding a perfect diamond, skiing form (Telemark position), and rapport between horse, rider and skiers.” Annabeth also remembers the day her band teacher said, “Everyone bring your skis tomorrow,” and the skiing band was born. Annabeth and Lloyd’s sons, Ty and Del, also were active in the club, walking to Howelsen from their house near Merritt Street. Ty started his kids, Brandon and Lindsay, in club programs at a young age, and Del’s seven kids also were active skiers (he now has five grandkids). Ty’s daughter, Lindsay, won two overall Junior Olympics titles, competed at the U.S. Nationals, and raced for Dartmouth College. “The very fi rst ribbon I won was second place for the fatherdog sled pull,” she says. “I was three, but apparently I held on well; that was my job. That’s one of my best memories growing up.” She also made sure to do the shovel race as soon as she turned 18, the year after she was voted Winter Carnival queen. “I actually had to leave training early for it, but there was no way I was going to miss it,” she says. “I had been waiting to compete in it for years.”   Winter Carnival still fi nds the Light/Lockhart clan gathered in front of F.M. Light & Sons to watch the events, with the little ones in tow catching the best view from atop the horse Lightning stationed outside the store.  

The Romicks

Rarely is there a family that blended ranching and racing as much as the Romicks. Moving here from Kremmling in 1966 as ranchers, Jack and Janie Romick quickly left their mark on the mountain. When not running the ranch, Jack worked as a ski patroller and served as president of the club. As active in rodeo as they were racing, their three sons — Lance, Brent and Jace — could be found at the club and on the mountain almost daily. Lance raced for the University of Wyoming, Brent took it to the elite level and Jace joined the U.S. Ski Team for five years, was the team’s highest-ranked downhiller and took eighth at the World Championships. “We basically lived on the mountain and at the club,” Jace says. “We were pretty much raised there.” The next generation also is carrying the club torch. Brent’s children, Dalton and Treat, participated in the club, as did Lance’s children, Sierra and Carly. Jace’s two kids — AJ, 9, and Addison, 7 — still are in its Alpine program, luring Jace back to coach. “It’s great because it’s gotten me more involved in the club again,” he says. “I remember standing up in front of a bunch of kids last year at Olympian Hall and Brent, Jace and Lance Romick in their telling them I was here doWinter Sports Club team sweaters.



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“We basically lived on the mountain and at the club. We were pretty much raised there.” — Jace Romick

ing the exact same thing as them 40 years ago and how they’ll remember it just like I do at my age. It’s great to giving back to it again.” Making it even more worthwhile are the number of kids he sees on any given winter day at Howelsen Hill. “When you ride up the Poma lift and see how many kids are there and the smiles on their faces, it’s truly amazing,” he says.

The Barrows

Ray and Maurine Barrows arrived in Steamboat Springs in 1950 with 6-year-old son, Jim (“Moose”), in tow rather fortuitously. “As far as the story goes, our parents basically ran out of gas and so they just stayed,” daughter Nancy Gray says. That didn’t stop them from hitting the town running, with Maurine becoming a 40-year school teacher and Ray serving on City Council. The two also became active in the club, putting Moose and Nancy, as well as their two other sons, Bob and Joe, in the club’s programs. Starting ski jumping the same year he arrived, Moose has become one of the club’s most beloved devotees. “Back then, pretty much everybody in town who skied was involved in it,” says Moose, now 70, crediting coach Gordy Wren as the club’s “czar” who did everything. “That was the norm.” Moose went on to win five Junior National Championships in downhill and slalom, and in 1967, he finished third in the first World Cup downhill. His crash at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France, was documented by ABC’s “Wide World

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of Sports,” and in 1969, he went on to win the North American Downhill Championships. The U.S. Ski Team’s downhill coach from 1977 to 1980, and its Olympic coach in 1980, he’s made it his life’s mission to promote skiing, founding a scholarship fund to support local junior skiers. Inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1996, Moose credits the club and Howelsen Hill as fostering his success. “Howelsen is the core of town,” says Moose, a 27-year club board member. “The fact that we have it is due to the foresight of the club.” Nancy, now 60, also has strong ties to the club, participating in the fi rst-ever Little Toots classes and going on to race for the University of Colorado. Still teaching skiing today, she also kept the club tradition going with her daughter, Jessica Gray Aldigiheri, who currently coaches cross-country in Whistler, B.C. “I’ve been involved in the club for most of my life, fi rst as an athlete, then as a coach, and then as a parent and volunteer,” she says. “These opportunities are integral

The Goods

Moose Barrows: “The club is one of the essential organs of the community.”

parts of who I am.” Adds Moose: “The club is one of the essential organs of the community and is unique anyplace in the world. For it to have Nordic and Alpine programs, as well as a host of new ones, all under the same umbrella is amazing. It teaches core values that produce great citizens and quality athletes.”

Jeff Good truly has done it all with the Winter Sports Club. After moving to Steamboat from Vermont in 1982 to follow Billy Kidd’s assertion that there was no better place for tree skiing, he has completely immersed himself and his family in the club. Starting as an athlete after being persuaded to participate in Winter Carnival’s Tequila Cup, he fell in love with mogul skiing, which escalated into a life made for Steamboat. Immersing himself in the club as an athlete, he eventually landed on the U.S. Ski Team for Nancy, Jasper, Sierra and Jeff Good. mogul skiing and then became a coach from 1992 to 1998. After have involved Jasper and Sierra in the club as traveling to four Olympics with well to learn the life skills it imparts. Jasper has the team, he settled down to become a famsettled into Nordic combined while Sierra Alpine ily man with wife, Nancy, and kids Jasper and races. Sierra. Known to ski as a family, the Goods have The family continues to ski together each taken advantage of the club’s extensive resources season and has kept the club near and dear to its from Day One. hearts. Jeff recalls standing at the base of HowCurrently, Jeff serves as board secretary of the elsen jump marking for Jasper while watching club, making him one of the few members to Sierra race down the face just across the way. have been an athlete, coach, board member and “I truly believe in what the club provides for parent, a rare accomplishment. “There’s no other the community,” he says. “It gives kids a chance club like it,” he says. “Anything that slides on to participate in a lifelong sport and learn about snow, we offer it.” themselves at the same time.” Recognizing its opportunities, Jeff and Nancy

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Q& with executive Directors A

We caught up with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executive directors past and present for some insight into their time as head of one of the nation’s most prestigious ski clubs.

Walt Evans (1979-1983)

What was the most successful thing you accomplished? Working with a progressive board of directors, I was able to create a year-round position with a job description and business plan for the executive director. I was fortunate to be named the first fulltime executive director in 1979. The position provided continuity for the club, enabling planning, leadership and attention to detail leading to a more focused sports club. We renovated the Howelsen Hill Lodge to create administrative offices for club and Parks and Recreation staff, we built a new

Poma lift to replace the old T-bar, we installed snowmaking on the Alpine venue and we were able to rebuild the ski jumps that were burned in protest of the 1976 Olympic bid proposal. We also hosted numerous Alpine NorAm Cups, FIS and junior events, including the first International Ski Jumping Tournee, an FIS Continental Cup event. The club launched a new program for children called the Training Squad, an introduction to different winter sports with a focus on “fun, fundamentals, fitness and family.” We also hosted the first (and last) dual night slalom at Howelsen sponsored and produced by Penthouse Magazine and developed a written agreement between the club and mountain outlining a mutual understanding of rights and responsibilities. What were some of your biggest challenges? The same as they are today at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club: financial sustainability, staff development and retention, facilities and the athlete pool. Making vision a reality through leadership and planning was also a constant challenge.

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What was your most memorable moment? It was 1979, the worst drought locals could remember. The mountain opened on a limited base — training and racing were virtually at a standstill. The staff and I made a decision to get Howelsen operational no matter what. We were short on financial resources, but had ideas and energy. John and Jay Fetcher provided us with 10 tons of low-quality hay. Bill Bowes loaned us several hundred feet of garden hose. Then Parks and Recreation helped us install and charge four water faucets on the hill. Coaches, parents and athletes went to work in shifts around the clock for five days. We mulched the muddy hill with hay from top to bottom, and then started watering it by hand and irrigation sprinklers. We moved the handmade “snow” around with shovels, establishing a training lane made up of ice, snow and straw. We called the surface “brown sugar.” Our Alpine team had the best training and racing in Colorado that year. We were the only club in Colorado that was scheduling and conducting races for a six-week period that year.

Roy Powell (1984-1996)

What was the most successful thing you accomplished? I formally registered Steamboat as Ski Town USA from the original Winter Carnival slogan and then brought in local, national and international events that best complemented our programming. At the time, it was necessary to develop a more extensive strategic plan in fulfilling the club’s mission statement. The result was the finest coaching staff in the industry that inspired our young athletes with lifelong values, which highlights the club’s success. What were some of your biggest challenges? Funding the diverse programs involved difficult compromises, and facilities development presented complex challenges. Partnerships with the city, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Steamboat Ski Touring Center, U.S. Forest Service and many private entities were greatly enhanced to meet our growth and facilities demands. It’s these partnerships that best define Ski Town USA. What were your most memorable moments? Watching the development of confidence and maturity in Steamboat’s many young Winter Sports Club athletes. We hosted five Alpine World Cups and nine Nordic combined World Cups, which brought together the best dedicated volunteers, supporters and partners. Seeing Todd Lodwick carry the American flag across the finish line in victory before thousands was one of many memorable moments.

Rick DeVos (1999-2013)

What was the most successful thing you accomplished? We were able to bring in the right leadership personnel and coaches into each of the club’s sports disciplines and bring a level of parity to them. They, in turn, were each able to reach new levels of success. Many winter sport clubs offer one or two sport disciplines, while Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club offers many options for our local youths to choose from. Add the summer programming options like cycling, and the club is in a category by itself.

What were some of your biggest challenges? The Winter Sports Club is a 501(c)(3) and must fundraise to make its budget work. Our goal was always to keep the programming as affordable as possible for local families. This required us to host many fundraising and athletic events and to do everything we could to control our expenses. There was never a shortage of good ideas on how to spend money, but with everyone’s help, we were able to balance our budget for the past 11 years. What were your most memorable moments? I most enjoyed working with the staff and athletes as directly as possible. Whether it was involvement in the after-school scene at Howelsen Hill, making snow, loading lifts, parking lot duty or working at many of the 100 events each year, this is where the club’s real heartbeat is. With almost 1,000 athletes, 150 coaches and close to 2,200 parents each year, the memories will last a lifetime. I felt lucky to have had the opportunity to lead the club. I thoroughly enjoyed participating with the athletes, parents, staff, coaches and board. The Winter Sports Club is an iconic part of Steamboat Springs and has played an important role in the lives of countless local youths over its 100-year history. A special thanks to the city of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the local business community and individuals for getting behind the effort. I encourage everyone to continue to support this one-of-a-kind organization.

Jim Boyne (current)

What do you see as the biggest strengths of the club? The rich history of the club and its 100-year legacy are clearly strengths to be built upon. We’ve developed thousands of kids and have produced more Olympians than any other winter sports club. The quality and talent of our coaches and staff, as well as the passion they bring, exemplify the best of the best in both competitive winter sports training and in youth development. Lastly, the community support and partnership we have with our volunteers and contributors, the city of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. are a source of significant strength that together provide a solid foundation that I believe will enable us to continue to fulfill our mission of developing kids through participation in winter sports. What are the biggest challenges facing the club? As a newcomer to Steamboat Springs and the club, I believe the biggest challenges will be our ability to continue to differentiate ourselves as an organization whose mission, and the results we have delivered over the past 100 years, are worthy of continued and repeated funding support. I have no doubt that our programs, staff and coaches are providing training and education that is invaluable to kids in competitive winter sports and in life. We need to continue to emphasize these points and continue to deliver the strong results we have historically.  What are you most looking forward to as executive director? I’m excited to engage with the talented staff and coaches that we have as well as work with community supporters and partners to ensure that the club continues to succeed and excel in fulfilling its mission. The ability to influence and shape 1,000 kids in developing and mastering the competitive and life skills necessary to be the best they can be on and off the slopes will be extremely rewarding. Lastly, I’m looking forward to becoming an active and productive member of the Steamboat community and to have my children be a part of the Winter Sports Club.

2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th Anniversary Supplement | Steamboat living

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Johnny Spillane In his own words R

arely has there been a more successful or celebrated Steamboat-raised Winter Sports Club veteran than Johnny Spillane, whose three silver medals at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics cemented his stature among Nordic combined’s elite. Now retired and raising children Genevieve and Hadley with his wife, Hilary, he looks back on his years with the club as fondly as he does his time competing. My first memory of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is changing in the old trailer or “locker room” that was located where the weight room currently is. I have too many fond memories to list them all, but some of the highlights include jumping through the ring of fire during Winter Carnival and watching the Nordic combined World Cup when it came to town.  The Winter Sports Club taught me to train hard and dream big. It instilled a work ethic and belief that I could achieve at any level.   The Winter Sports Club is truly one of a kind. There are other places in the world I’ve seen that have similar qualities, but I can’t think of any place where all the kids in all skiing disciplines train at the same facility. This creates a unique environment that means a lot to the club’s success. What I got most out of the club is friendships that will last a lifetime — that and a few Olympic medals. The Winter Sports Club instilled a work ethic that has helped me in all aspects of life. 

John F. russeLL

It is one of the cornerstones of Steamboat. It defines us as a community, and hopefully, it will continue to do so for generations to come.

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2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th anniversary Supplement | Steamboat living

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28 | Steamboat living | 2014 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100th anniversary Supplement

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club  

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100 years of excellence.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club  

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 100 years of excellence.