Three locals among the nominees for magazine’s top Colorado mountain athletes |

Three locals among the nominees for magazine’s top Colorado mountain athletes

Ken Hoeve paddles down the Colorado River last week through Glenwood Canyon. Hoeve is one of three local athletes nominate for Colorado's best mountain athletes by Elevation Outdoors magazine. The others are alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Special to the Daily |

To vote

Elevation Outdoors magazine’s readers are voting for Colorado’s best mountain athletes in five categories.

Readers will determine the winners by voting on the magazine’s website,

The top overall vote getters, (man and woman) will be featured in the magazine’s January-February 2015 edition. Readers will then vote again for Colorado’s Best Mountain Athlete.

You can vote once every 24 hours.

EAGLE COUNTY — Local paddling legend Ken Hoeve loves rivers so much that he named one of his sons River.

Hoeve is one of three local athletes nominated in five categories for Colorado’s Best Mountain Athlete, as chosen by the readers of Elevation Outdoors magazine. Skiers Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin are nominated in Best Snow Sports; Hoeve is nominated in Best Water Sports.

Vonn, of course, is the most successful American ski racer ever. Shiffrin is a two-time World Cup slalom champion and is an Olympic gold medalist.

Paddling through Hoeveland

Hoeve has been a stand-up paddling pioneer and enthusiast, and has been instrumental in the progression of running rivers on a stand-up paddle board. He helped start stand-up paddling in the mountains.

“People said it’s just for the ocean. No one will ever do that in rivers,’” Hoeve said. “Those boards are all over the place now.”

He’s also loves whitewater kayak racing and rafting. If he’s not competing in an event, he’s announcing, or both.

Companies send him to some unique places to do demonstrations. Garman, for example, sent him to a remote Alaskan river accessible only by bush plane.

He paddle boarded to within 50 yards of 1,000-pound grizzly bears that were feeding on salmon, which was close enough to drop him off the top of that particular food chain.

He found out about the nomination when someone emailed him a link.

“I was surprised,” Hoeve said enthusiastically, which is how he says pretty much everything. “It’s not often you see your picture on a Web page with Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin. I figured the only way I’d ever get to appear on the same page is if a party went bad and we all got arrested.”

About the contest

Debating Colorado’s best athletes is a little like debating which angels should lead as they dance on the head of a pin. Still, Elevation Outdoors is taking its shot.

Elevation Outdoors narrowed the choices to the three best male and three best female athletes by discipline in the state.

“It was hard to pick just six and we know we left out some worthy candidates,” the magazine’s said.

They put together three men and three women in each of five categories: Snow sports, running, water sports, climbing and biking.

You can vote every 24 hours in each category.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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