Vail’s Mike Brown inducted into Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
VAIL — Vail’s Mike Brown was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Friday night at the induction ceremony in Broomfield.
The Class of 2014 included Brown along with athletes Jeremy Bloom, John “C.J.” Mueller, Johnny Spillane and pioneer Kingsbury “Pitch” Pitcher.
Brown succeeded at the top level of ski racing as a junior racer and during his 10-year career on the U.S. Ski Team placed in the top 15 in World Cup events and the top 100 in the FIS world rankings. A Vail native, Brown had the honor of competing in the super-G on home snow during the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail. He retired from competition soon thereafter but jumped right into coaching for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, which he helped guide during the 1990 World Championships.
During his seven-year stint as coach of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, Brown helped steer the squad to its status as the strongest disabled team in the world. He coached two of the most decorated Paralympic athletes in history — Chris Waddell and Sarah Will — and is credited with developing a disabled factoring system that allows disabled athletes from different disciplines to compete against one another for medals.
Brown is clearly proud of how disabled athletes such as Waddell and Will progressed during his tenure: “We went from being six seconds behind the world to being 12 ahead in a year and half’s time,” Brown said.