Snowsports Hall of Fame in Vail honors Colorado’s top 2018 winter competitors | VailDaily.com

Snowsports Hall of Fame in Vail honors Colorado’s top 2018 winter competitors

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Editor's note: Additional profiles of this year's Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum award winners can be found at http://www.vaildaily.com.

VAIL — The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame has announced its annual recognition award winners for 2018.

The awards will be presented in conjunction with the organization's Hall of Fame Induction Gala, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa.

Competitors of the Year

This past winter, a total of 10 Colorado-based Winter Olympians and Paralympians traveled to Pyeongchang, South Korea, and returned home with Olympic or Paralympic medals. These athletes collectively claimed four gold, three silver and six bronze medals during these games.

For their achievements, the following Olympians and Paralympians will be honored with the Competitors of the Year Award: Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail), Lindsey Vonn (Vail), Alex Ferreira (Aspen), Red Gerard (Silverthorne), Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs), Jamie Stanton (Denver), Andrew Kurka (Aspen), Laurie Stephens (Aspen), Mike Minor (Frisco) and Brittani Coury (Durango).

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Collegiate Skiers of the Year

The University of Colorado's Ola Johansen and the University of Denver's Amelia Smart will be honored as Collegiate Skiers of the Year.

A junior from Baerum, Norway, Johansen is a three-time All American for the University of Colorado. He was voted the 2018 RMISA Male Alpine Athlete of the Year by the coaches, while also garnering his second RMISA Men's Alpine MVP honors, earning the most NCAA qualification points. A first team All-American selection in slalom, courtesy of a third-place result in the 2018 NCAA Slalom, Johansen also placed seventh in the Championship's Giant Slalom.

He would record a trio of individual wins on the season, bringing his career total of collegiate victories to six. He has earned a total of 17 career podium finishes, tying for 10th most in CU history and second among alpine skiers.

A freshman from Vancouver, British Columbia, Smart claimed 2018 National Women's Alpine Skier of the Year for the University of Denver, along with being named RMISA Female Athlete of the Year. Smart won 2018 NCAA titles in both slalom and giant slalom, recording the giant slalom victory despite starting in 27th position.

For these efforts, she was rewarded with First Team All-American status. During the course of the season, she claimed a trio of individual wins, while recording five podium appearances, six top-five results and eight top 10 finishes. A member of the Canadian National Team, Smart represented her country at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Adaptive Athlete of the Year

U.S. Paralympic team member Andrew Kurka has been named Adaptive Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Snowsports Museum.

Born and raised in Palmer, Alaska, Kurka now lives and trains in Aspen. A six-time Alaska state wrestling champion in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, his dream of Olympic glory took a detour at age 13 after an ATV accident severely damaged three vertebrae in the middle of his spinal cord. He first tried a monoski two years after the accident on the encouragement of his physical therapist.

He made his U.S. Paralympic National Team debut in 2010, while becoming the first person in a monoski to descend the Christmas Chute on the north face of Mount Alyeska. A two-time Paralympian (2014 and 2018), Kurka captured gold and silver medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympic Winter Games in downhill and super-G, respectively, while finishing seventh in super combined.

If you go …

What: Colorado Snowsports Museum Hall of Fame Induction Gala.

When: 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

Where: Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa, Lionshead Village, Vail.

Cost: Reserved individual tickets are $325, and tables for 10 are available starting at $3,750. A $250 individual ticket option is also available but does not include seating location preference.

More information: To purchase tickets or for additional information, email halloffame@snowsportsmuseum.org, visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum website, http://www.snowsportsmuseum.org, or call 970-476-1876. All proceeds from the Hall of Fame Gala will benefit the Colorado Snowsports Museum.