SSCV event honors season’s accomplishments
VAIL — There was much to celebrate at the close of the 2014-15 season throughout Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
Individual awards banquets were held for each discipline (Alpine, Freeski Park & Pipe and Big Mountain, Freestyle, Nordic, Skier Cross and Snowboarding) for over 650 athletes. Major award winners were recognized at the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail President’s Dinner, where coveted club-wide awards were presented, an evening hosted by event sponsor Alpine Bank.
The common theme at each of these events was the recounting of the character, courage and commitment, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s core values, shown by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes throughout the season both on and off the snow.
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes and the organization as a whole could not be where they are today without the many parents, volunteers and community members who provide their support along the way.
STEWARDS OF SKI RACING
Established in 1977, the Zella Gorsuch Award is given to the person with the greatest contribution to the advancement of skiing in the Vail area.
The award was for the first time in its history shared by two winners. John Garnsey and Jimmy Roberts have been linked from their arrival in Vail from Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, until their nearly simultaneous retirements from Vail Resorts this year. They are widely considered among the most important stewards of ski racing not only in the Vail Valley but also nationally and internationally. From successfully bidding for and producing Vail’s three World Championships in 1989, 1999 and 2015, Garnsey and Roberts were instrumental in placing Vail and Beaver Creek on the international stage of ski racing, helping make Vail and Beaver Creek a household name throughout Europe and cementing the community’s and resort’s reputation as a world-class resort and competition venue. Ski racing has not had two individuals who have been more supportive and transformative as John and Jimmy, the 2015 Zella Gorsuch co-winners.
Among the 40 past Zella Gorsuch Memorial Award winners are Tom Pitcher, Byron Brown, Vi Brown, Mike Porter, Erik Borgen, Pete Seibert Sr. and Jr., Harry Frampton, Lindsey Vonn, Larry Benway, Toby Dawson, Chad Fleischer, Mikaela Shiffrin, Sarah Schleper, Dan Leever and last year’s winner Glenn Davis.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Alpine U16 head coach Rob Worrell’s family and parents were on hand to watch him receive The George Rau Coach of the Year Award for his work building the incredibly strong U16 staff and team which dominated the season culminating with an unprecedented team performance at the U16 National Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine, leading to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s repeat selection as USSA Alpine Club of the Year.
TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Katie Smith, a Language Arts and Humanities teacher at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, one of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s academic partners, was presented with the Terresa Herbst Teacher of the Year Award for her dedication as an educator of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Julie Heaydon, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail parent, was the recipient of The Vi & Byron Brown Volunteer of the Year Award for her extraordinary work as a volunteer this season.
SHAPING ADULT LIVES
The audience at the President’s Dinner was reminded of its roots and of the coveted nature of all of the awards presented that evening by the presence of several special guests of honor. Adrian Kearney Jr. and Marlene Kearney presented Caroline Jones with the Adrian Kearney Award. Dave Gorsuch was, as always, there to present John Garnsey and Jimmy Roberts with the Zella Gorsuch Memorial Award.
“While we annually recognize the top performances of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s athletes, the true measure of success is in the quality of the effort, rather than the outcome,” said Aldo Radamus, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail executive director. “It is the exhibition of our core values of character, courage and commitment that holds the highest value and is what shapes the adult lives of these young men and women. We are inspired by the commitment and efforts of so many that support our mission and define the essence of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.”
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes and coaches are poised to start off the new season carrying the positive momentum from the past season with them at on-snow camps as well as in strength training and conditioning, trampoline and water ramp sessions and mountain biking. The preparation for next winter starts early and is driven by athletes striving to achieve their personal bests and emulate the qualities and characteristics of the legacy of athletes who have been honored over the years at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.