Challenge Aspen’s new course setter | AspenTimes.com

Challenge Aspen’s new course setter

Charles AgarAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Kevin Jardine, the former coach of the U.S. Paralymic Ski Team, is bringing momentum to Challenge Aspen and disabled skiing in the Roaring Fork Valley.Jardine worked with ESPN staff to select the athletes, make the rules and set the course for the Mono Skier X event, which first premiered at the X Games two years ago and is now a Winter X Games medal event.And after ten years as the U.S. coach, Jardine has put down roots in his native Carbondale. In the spring of 2006, he accepted the job of director of skiing for Challenge Aspen, an area non-profit that provides recreational opportunities for disabled athletes.As director of skiing, Jardine runs a competitive skier program for Iraq War veterans. And he hopes the program will send a new group of world class racers to the U.S. Paralympic team.Jardine, an able-bodied skier, never had worked with disabled skiers when he started coaching in Winter Park in 1994.”I love to coach,” Jardine said. “It’s very addictive because we’re setting the standards.”And U.S. disabled skiers, just like able-bodied racers, ride a razor’s edge of technology and technique to stay ahead of Europe’s best. The longtime coach likes the heat.Despite some confusion Saturday and athletes arriving late with little chance to inspect the course, Jardine was happy with this year’s event.”This exposure shows the world the amazing abilities of these athletes,” he said.

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