High Altitude Society: Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Welcomes the class of 2018 at induction gala
The stars of Colorado’s ski and snowboard industry shone brightly on Saturday, Oct. 6, as many of the state’s snowsports icons gathered in Vail to celebrate the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame’s Induction Gala and the Class of 2018. Close to 30 current Hall of Fame inductees were on hand to welcome the five new members, along with a crowd of nearly 400 guests.
The newest inductees to the Hall of Fame include Vail professional skier and youth outreach leader Chris Anthony; former Director of Mountain Maintenance for Winter Park and founder of the Winter Park Ski Education Foundation Bob Dart; former U.S. Ski Team Head Women’s Coach and Ski & Snowboard Vail board member Brad Ghent; the co-founder of the Over the Hill Gang senior ski club, Moe Mosley and Steamboat Springs’ Lonny Vanatta, the top American on the World Pro Ski Tour in the early ’80s.
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, the evening also featured the Hall of Fame’s annual recognition awards, which included Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame Executive Director Susie Tjossem, who was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, the 10th Mountain Division for the Top of the Hill Award, the 10 2018 Colorado Olympic and Paralympic medalists that won the Competitors of the Year Award, the University of Colorado’s Ola Johansen and the University of Denver’s Amelia Smart for the Collegiate Skiers of the Year awards and Aspen’s Andrew Kurka, who was awarded the Adaptive Athlete of the Year Award.
The evening also featured an eclectic collection of unique moments and stories, courtesy of the inductees.
“The very first time I went skiing,” recounted Mosley, “I had to have both of my knees drained and I tore the skin off my nose. I made one run down by lunchtime and made my second run down as the patrol swept the hill. But I fell in love with the sport and decided that the sport wasn’t going to get the best of me.”
Anthony recalled sage advice he received at a young age from one of his ski heroes, Aspen’s Andy Mill.
“There’s one person that showed up tonight that said a few words to me when I was a little kid that stuck with me the longest and made me go on the path that I did,” said Anthony. “It was Andy Mill, one of my greatest heroes. He told me that skiing was the easy part, but it’s what you do with it that will be the most important.”
Vanatta credited the late Bob Beattie, who left the U.S. Ski Team to create the World Pro Ski Tour in 1970, with providing him the opportunity and the platform to excel as a ski racer.
“I wish I could thank Bob Beattie in person here tonight,” said Vanatta. “If it wasn’t for Bob and World Pro Skiing, I wouldn’t be standing here. I am so thankful he created a tour that gave me and so many other guys the opportunity to have a successful career. Bob helped put me on the map and I am so grateful to that man.”
Due to his battle with ALS, his three daughters, Erika, Abby and Krista, delivered Ghent’s acceptance speech. Krista summed up the honor for her father.
“Although dad will remain his humble self, we acknowledge that this is a well-deserved award for a man who lives his life through the simplicity of loving what you do and taking care of people,” Krista said.
The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame is managed by the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum. For additional information on the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame, visit http://www.snowsportsmuseum.org.