Silverthorne woman hopes to inspire others after skiing every month for the last 30-plus years
Summit Daily News
A case of COVID-19, a surgery, a trip to the intensive care unit and a portable oxygen machine is more than enough for anyone to take a break from their passions and outdoor pursuits.
However, for 66-year-old Silverthorne resident Kim Teot, the health setbacks were just a bump in the slope in her journey to keep her monthly skiing streak alive.
Teot has kept up her monthly skiing streak for 367 consecutive months — or 30 years and 7 months. Teot started the streak back when she was in her mid-30’s after a friend boasted about his monthly skiing streak.
“We had a friend that lived in Vail, and he had skied for five years or 60 months,” Teot said. “I looked at my husband and I said ‘You and I can do that. We can do five years straight.'”
From there, Teot began her quest to ski at least every month for 10 years. Teot skied in the mountains of Colorado and Utah in the winter and then traveled to Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado in August and September to ski on sand.
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After a successful 120 months of skiing, Teot says she felt accomplished, but her husband encouraged her to continue on with the impressive streak. While continuing to log months in only Colorado and Utah, Teot pushed to the 15-year mark. Around the same time, Teot discovered an organization called Turns All Year.
As the name implies, the organization encourages and highlights people who have ski streaks like Teot’s. When Teot stumbled on the organization’s website, Teot was once again inspired to keep up with her streak and set her eyes on a new goal.
“After 15 years, I found that page, and I found a girl that was two years behind me,” Teot said. “And I said I wasn’t going to let her catch up to me. I am too competitive. So off I went, and I kept going. I said I would do 30 years, and then I would quit.”
Over the next 15 years, Teot continued to ski anything she could whether it be via cross-country skiing, skiing down sand dunes or using her Alpine skis at ski areas. With 30 years now under her belt, Teot was once again encouraged by her family to continue with the streak until she couldn’t anymore.
Teot obliged, but was soon met with a series of health challenges that came within inches of ending her skiing streak once and for all.
Several years back, Teot had been momentarily challenged by an operation on her toe, but she was able to keep the streak alive by skiing in the first week of one month and then getting a run in at the end of the next month.
“I said, ‘if we operated in early November, could I be skiing by December 31st?'” Teot said as she recalled what she asked the doctor. “I skied on November 1st or 2nd, and then at the end of December, I was skiing a bunny hill.”
Navigating the operation on her toe was nothing compared to what Teot faced at the beginning of her 31st year of skiing. While on a trip to Columbia in December 2022, Teot caught COVID-19, which progressed into pneumonia, which turned into deep vein thrombosis. Then eventually it developed into multiple pulmonary embolisms.
The onset of medical conditions ultimately sent Teot to the intensive care unit on Dec. 12, 2022, and Teot believed her streak would come to an anti-triumphant end at 30 years, 2 months.
“People were not crying about my physical well-being, they were upset that my streak may end,” Teot said.
Upon being released from the intensive care unit and going home, Teot was not sure if she would have the strength or health to continue on with her streak, but a doctor changed Teot’s outlook on the then dire situation on Dec. 21.
“She said that I needed to ski three days a week,” Teot said of the appointment. “She said that she needed me to be active.”
This was the last thing that Teot expected her doctor to say in her current condition. But with a deep love for skiing and the mountains, Teot happily returned to the slopes with a book-sized portable oxygen machine strapped to her back.
Teot logged the third month of her 31st year on Dec. 30 at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on the Molly Hogan ski run. With her daughter at her side and her husband trailing behind in case Teot fell over, Teot successfully reached the A-Basin base area with around 50 vertical feet of skiing.
Although skiing has been more of a challenge over the past five months, Teot has managed to continue to keep her streak alive while satisfying her internal competitive drive and continuing to inspire her supporters.
“It actually has been really fun,” Teot said. “It just proves that if you love something, make a goal of it.”
Teot realizes she is not necessarily what comes to mind when one thinks of a skier that strives to keep up with a monthly skiing streak or chase after athletic endeavors. However, Teot hopes that others will see her story and be driven to start their own streak no matter their age, gender, size or athletic ability.
“I wanted to do this because, one, I am 66 years old. Two, I am a woman. And, three, I am overweight,” Teot said. “I am here to prove that anyone can do it. I have logged all my days in Colorado or Utah. The biggest secret is don’t get hurt.”
By Teot’s account, she has the longest-known skiing streak of any woman and the second-longest reported streak behind Leadville’s Tommy Szwedko. Teot has plans to reevaluate her goals once she reaches 420 months (35 years).
“I’ve got 30 years. I will evaluate it at 35,” Teot said. “I am going to shoot for 35 because I will be in my 70s.”
Teot thanks her husband and her family for being her biggest supporters in her monthly skiing streak. Teot hopes to take a bucket-list trip to New Zealand in the next year or two in order to ski on snow in the month of September.