Aspen’s Chris Klug announced as U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee | AspenTimes.com

Aspen’s Chris Klug announced as U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee

Chris Klug (right) shares a laugh with Chris Davenport last October when it was announced that Klug would be inducted in 2016 to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. The induction is April 9.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame welcomes another Aspenite to the ranks of skiing and snowboarding's most elite for a third consecutive year.

Proving good things come in threes, Olympic medalist Chris Klug was named a 2015 Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee Friday evening at a hall of fame fundraiser at the Limelight Hotel.

Fellow hall of famer and close friend Chris Davenport announced Klug's induction choice, alongside 2013 hall of fame inductee John Clendenin.

Davenport said he couldn't be more proud to share this award with Klug.

In 2002, Klug earned a bronze medal in giant slalom snowboarding at the Salt Lake City Olympic games — 18 months after undergoing a liver transplant due to a birth defect that challenged the athlete throughout his career.

Shortly after Klug's Olympic success, he started the Chris Klug Foundation to promote lifesaving organ and tissue donation, and authored his own book, "To the Edge and Back: My Story from Organ Transplant Survivor to Olympic Snowboarder."

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"It's pretty special to receive this," Klug said. "Especially in my hometown, in front of so many people who were a part of this success."

In addition to Klug, Clendenin and Davenport also announced the six other 2015 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductees: Edgar Stern, Genia Fuller Crews, Bob Salerno, David Ingemie, Henry Kaiser and Jim Martinson.

Clendenin, Davenport and Klug were quick to express their overwhelming appreciation toward the local community.

Davenport said he would not be where he is today if it wasn't for the support of the amazing community, Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club "and, of course, these amazing mountains we have."

"There's a major sense of pride that we as Aspenites feel in having played such a role in the history and development and ongoing storyline of the sport of skiing," Davenport said.

The sense of local pride and support was felt in the room, as Davenport joked that half of Aspen's population was present.

"These are individuals we can relate to," said local Nicky Byrne, who said he attended the event to recognize and support the accomplishments in the community.

In acknowledging this honor, Klug said that he thinks his passion for the sport is what has allowed him to succeed.

"I just love doing it," Klug said. "And I'm honored to do it."

While Friday's event announced the 2015 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductees, the formal induction will take place April 9.

erobbie@aspentimes.com

2015 U.S. Ski and Snowboard hall of fame inductees

Chris Klug, Olympic medalist snowboarder

Edgar Stern, founder of Deer Valley resort

Genia Fuller Crews, world champion freestyle and aerial skier

Bob Salerno, world champion freestyle skier

David Ingemie, SnowSports Industries America president

Henry Kaiser, former Skiing magazine publisher

Jim Martinson, winter Paralympic gold medalist