Dream big: Anthony starts school tour | VailDaily.com

Dream big: Anthony starts school tour

Eleven-year-old Karla Leal, front, poses with a group of students Thursday at Homestake Peak Elementary School following a presentation from ski film star Chris Anthony. Leal says after seeing Anthony's presentation she intends to apply for Vail Resorts' School of Shred pass program.
John LaConte |

EAGLE-VAIL — What scares one person is commonplace for the next, and that’s especially true here in the Vail Valley.

On Thursday, a group of schoolchildren at Homestake Peak Elementary School got to witness a frightened version of Battle Mountain graduate Chris Anthony — a rare sight to behold.

“I was definitely nervous,” Anthony said after his speech to the kids.

This would be the same Chris Anthony who has spent the past two decades extreme skiing with Warren Miller Film Crew.

“At my last school, the kids were so into Chris’ presentation, practically my whole class signed up for the School of Shred.”
Tasha Queen
Sixth-grade teacher, Homestake Peak Elementary

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“I’ve sat in this auditorium quite a bit,” Anthony told the children in a shakier voice than we’re used to hearing in his Warren Miller voiceovers. “This used to be Battle Mountain High School, did you guys know that?”

Anthony was delivering his speech to the kids as part of his youth outreach program, where he seeks to inspire kids to dream big.

Thursday was the beginning of his fall school tour, the first speech in a series of 20 or so that he will deliver during the next few weeks.

Culture and geography

Despite his nervousness, Anthony held the attention of his audience. His method in doing so was the same one he’s using to expose kids to a multitude of cultures, geographic locations, science and ecology though his youth initiative project — by showing movies.

“I have a lot of material to bring to our youth, so there’s an adaptation to where I’m going with my career,” Anthony said.

In Thursday’s presentation, Anthony had intended only to show clips from his recent film “Climb to Glory,” which took place at nearby Camp Hale and explored the origins of skiing in the U.S. through the 10th Mountain Division of World War II.

But after a student asked if those WWII soldiers were “the first skiers ever,” Anthony quickly queued up a segment from his 2009 film “Dynasty,” in which he visits the Altai Mountains near Mongolia, where archeologists found 3,000-year-old cave drawings of skiers.

“At Warren Miller, we’re starting to think of my segments as, ‘What kind of impact can they have for a longer period of time?’” Anthony said.

‘So into it’

In 2013-14, Anthony hopes to obtain full nonprofit status for his youth initiative project and launch a youth scholarship program.

“It will finance extended educational opportunities for athletics, music, academics and arts,” he said.

Tasha Queen, a sixth-grade teacher at Homestake Peak, has been following along with Anthony’s youth initiative progress during the past few years, first as a teacher near Denver and now here in Eagle County. Queen has been coupling the enthusiasm garnered from Anthony’s speeches with efforts to enroll kids in Vail Resorts’ School of Shred pass program, with great results.

“At my last school, the kids were so into Chris’ presentation, practically my whole class signed up for the School of Shred,” she said.

Learn more at chrisanthony.com.

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