February 17, 2009
Robin Gorog and her husband, Jim Jochem, of Snowmass Village, and Larry Bleiler and his wife, Sharon, of Atlanta, Ga., are delighted to announce the engagement of their daughter, Gretchen Elisabeth Bleiler, to Christopher William Hotell. Chris is the son of Marta Hotell, and her husband, David Sweeney, of Aptos, Calif., and James Hotell of Panama City Beach, Fla.
Gretchen was born in Dayton, Ohio, but moved with her family to Aspen when she was 10 and calls Aspen her home. She graduated from Aspen High School in 1999. Gretchen played just about every sport possible from ice hockey to swimming and soccer but eventually had to choose among them; she chose snowboarding and hasn’t looked back since. Three X Games gold medals and an Olympic silver prove that she made the right choice!
Born in Phoenix, Chris grew up as an Air Force brat and found himself living on military bases in Virginia and Germany until he settled permanently in Los Gatos, Calif. Much like Gretchen, Chris played every organized sport he could until he discovered his love for snowboarding. He too decided to build his life around this winter sport and quickly moved to Lake Tahoe after graduating from Los Gatos High School in 1997. Instead of focusing on the competitive side of snowboarding, Chris made his impact on the shooting and filming side of the sport. He appeared in and helped create the film Neoproto. He currently works for Oakley in sports marketing for snowboarding.
The “Cliff Notes” version of this love story is that Chris and Gretchen started on the same life path but from different directions and eventually their paths crossed while snowboarding at Mt. Hood in Oregon. They quickly realized they had many similarities in their lives, from having the same snowboard sponsors to the most important commonality of all ” a huge attraction to one another. This attraction became a good friendship and they started to date two years later. After five wonderful years of love, laughter, travel, and trials and tribulations, they are engaged to be married in Costa Rica (they both surf whenever possible) in June of 2009. The wedding will be a small gathering of family and very close friends and should prove to be a festive week!