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Vail figures in sports pages

Don Rogers

The Vail Valley did a bit of a star turn in out-of-town sports pages Thursday.USA Today devoted most of page 3 to World Cup ski phenom Lindsey Kildow, who came to Vail from Minnesota not so long ago to chase her racing aspirations. At age 20, she’s aiming to be the most dominant U.S. female skier since Picabo Street, who of course is well acquainted with Vail.Closer to home on the same day, Edwards resident Dan Issel dominated the lead sports page of The Denver Post in a feature about life since leaving the Nuggets a few years ago.He said he’s enjoyed living out of the spotlight for a change, following a 26-year career as all-star player and then coach, president and general manager of the Nuggets.The general sports world has lots of ties to the Vail Valley, between Steadman Hawkins fixing the knees and shoulders of the greats in all of them to regular visitors such as David Robinson and Joe Torre and the franchise owners who live here: Bobby Hernreich (Sacramento Kings) and George Gillett (Montreal Canadiens). Hmm, we wonder, though: Does it count if your team is missing its season?There are summer sightings of for-the-moment-teamless NBA guru Phil Jackson, and that one appearance of a certain Lakers star this that valley would just as soon forget.On balance, the sports stars – like the other celebrities and the folks who own the companies the celebs are employed by – live and pass through here pretty quietly. Besides Kobe, sigh, there was one dust-up several years ago between a still teenage Britney Spears and some disappointed teeny-bopper fans at the Minturn Country Club. But such episodes truly are few and far between.For whatever reason, this is one of those rare places that the celebs are taken in stride – respectfully, but with less of that gushing awe they deal with elsewhere. Maybe it’s because more of us actually have lives here. Vail, Colorado


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