Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame announces Class of 2023 |

Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame announces Class of 2023

2023 Class Represents Telluride, Crested Butte, Aspen, Copper Mountain, Boulder, Vail and Colorado at large

The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Class of 2022 poses for a photo at the event last summer at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Left to right, John Dakin, Peter Rietz, Jeannie Thoren and the family of Chester R. “Chet” Upham, Jr.
Colorado Snowsports Museum/Courtesy photo

The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2023, an inspiring group of snow sports enthusiasts representing a wide range of people from across Colorado and from the industry.

“Every class of inductees is different and this year we celebrate individuals who have dedicated their lives to educating, inspiring, and preserving snow sports in Colorado. This class truly represents what the Colorado Snowsports Museum is all about,” said Jennifer Mason, executive director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. “We’re proud of the Class of 2023; each person represents a unique area of Colorado and illustrates the fact that Colorado as a whole leads the way in snow sports.” 

The 2023 Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Class is as follows: 

Cheryl Jensen – Inspirational

Vail local Cheryl Jensen founded The Vail Veterans Program in 2004, which introduces wounded veterans to Alpine sports both independently and with loved ones. She is a 2023 Class of Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame inductee. The event will be held on Aug. 27 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail.
Colorado Snowsports Museum/Courtesy photo

Cheryl Jensen’s contribution to the snow sports community has been lifesaving. She founded The Vail Veterans Program, which introduces Veterans to Alpine sports both independently and with loved ones. By keeping Veterans active from the beginning of their recovery, their mental and physical health is greatly improved, giving them hope and confidence in their future. Many Veterans who have experienced Cheryl’s generosity and kindness have made Colorado their home, becoming leaders in their communities and champions in Paralympic sports and life.  

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Hilaree Nelson – Athlete | Inspirational

Hilaree Nelson is well-known for reaching the summit and then skiing 8,000-meter peaks around the world.
Colorado Snowsports Museum/Courtesy photo

Hilaree Nelson was among the most accomplished ski mountaineers and alpinists on the planet. She is well-known for her “firsts” such as summiting and skiing 8,000-meter peaks around the world, notably becoming the first woman to summit two 8,000-meter peaks (Everest and Lhotse) in a 24-hour period. Additionally, Hilaree leveraged her platform to bring attention to pertinent issues such as climate change and to empower young girls and women. She subconsciously and consciously opened doors and changed the rules of equity and access for the next generation.  

John Norton – Sport Builder

John Norton contributed to making ski communities better by developing marketing programs, special events, community alliance-building and getting Aspen to drop the snowboarding ban back in the day.
Colorado Snowsports Museum/Courtesy photo

During John’s career in Crested Butte and Aspen, he simply made the Colorado ski resorts and communities better. His contributions to marketing programs, special events, community alliance-building, and the guest experience encouraged other resort leaders to seek out other opportunities and programs to keep pace. Among his many accomplishments are pioneering non-stop airline programs, founding the adaptive program at Crested Butte, introducing “ski-free” programs to attract new customers, and convincing the Aspen Ski Corp. to lift the snowboard ban to develop a four-mountain experience to accommodate all demographics, abilities, and lifestyles.  

Sandy Hildner – Sport Builder

Sandra Hildner trained with the University of Colorado Men’s Ski Team before there was a women’s ski team and raced in the Olympic downhill in 1968.
Colorado Snowsports Museum/Courtesy photo

Diverse trailblazer extraordinaire, Sandy trained with the University of Colorado Men’s Ski Team before there was a women’s ski team. Inspiring women athletes, she won National Championships, the Roch Cup in 1967, and raced Olympic downhill in 1968. Sandy innovated Lange boots and was one of only two women in the ski hard goods industry in the 1960s. She was the first female coach of the Winter Park Ski Team, embedding world-class skiing techniques and the mental preparation necessary to excel at the highest levels. Sandy led Copper Mountain’s Over the Hill Gang for 20 seasons and was instrumental in offering women’s clinics.  

Seth Masia – Inspirational

2023 Hall of Fame inductee Seth Masia was an editor and writer for “SKI” Magazine.
Colorado Snowsports Museum/Courtesy photo

Few Colorado-based ski writers are respected as widely as Seth Masia. He was a key editor and writer for SKI Magazine at the peak of its influence and pioneered online ski journalism. His tenure with SKI Magazine, his presidency of the International Skiing History Association, along with numerous books, articles, and skiing-related internet accomplishments are notable. His leadership has been built on the work of his predecessors to create an unparalleled record of snow sports history.  

“We are delighted to announce the class of 2023, which represents a tremendous and diverse group of athletes, sports builders and inspirational individuals from all across the state of Colorado from Boulder to Crested Butte to Telluride,” said Bill Tomcich, longtime board member of the Colorado Snowsports Museum and chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.

Hall of Fame candidates are nominated under the established criteria of Athlete, Sport Builder, Inspirational, or Pioneer categories, with the Hall of Fame Nomination Committee evaluating and confirming the nominees to move on to the final ballot. The 140-member Hall of Fame Voting Panel is comprised of current Hall of Fame members, key snow sports industry representatives, snow sports resorts, and the Hall’s board of directors. Learn more about our Hall of Fame here,

The annual induction ceremony — an inspiring, family-friendly event — will take place on Sunday, August 27, at the beautiful Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado. The open-air event is a great way to celebrate the inductees and Colorado snow sports, and ticket prices start at just $50 for adults, with all proceeds going to support the Colorado Snowsports Museum, a nonprofit organization, and the state of Colorado’s official snow sports museum. Tickets will be available soon.

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