Clubhouse Chronicles: A Q&A session with AVSC alumnus David Stapleton
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club: Tell us a little about your background. How did you arrive at AVSC?
David Stapleton: I grew up in Aspen and at the age of eight I remember coming home to my parents after school and saying, “I want to be on the ski team!” The rest is history! In those days we trained on Little Nell hill after school.
AVSC: What discipline and which years were you involved with AVSC? How far did you take your skiing career?
DS: I joined the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (formally known as the Aspen Ski Club) in 1967 and raced with the club through 1976 until I made the U.S. ski team. Like all kids back then, I skied and trained in all disciplines. I then skied on the U.S. Alpine team, racing all events on the World Cup circuit through 1981. Then, in 1982, I joined the U.S. pro tour for the next 10 years.
AVSC: Give us a brief update on your life. What are you up to these days?
DS: I work for AVSC on the development and fundraising team, helping to keep our programs as affordable as possible for our valley’s youth. I have found so much joy in seeing each athlete thrive in AVSC programs and I am so proud of the work I do every day with the club. Giving back has truly helped bring so much value and passion into my life.
AVSC: What life skills or values did AVSC help instill in you?
DS: The life skills and values I learned through AVSC and ski racing have helped me through many challenges in my life. From dealing with ups and downs and adversity to the highest levels of achievement and success. Even though you are on your own when you leave the starting gate, you still have teammates and coaches that help you down the course, through the finish and beyond.
AVSC: What is one of your favorite AVSC memories?
DS: My best memories of AVSC are the days training after school when we had to hike up the slalom hill on Little Nell with no lift to train. The camaraderie and excitement we all had for the sport was so inspiring!
AVSC: The club’s core values are commitment, teamwork and integrity. Which core value resonates most with you, and why?
DS: The AVSC core value that means the most to me is commitment. Commitment to the sport, to the early mornings on the hill and the late-night trainings in the gym. The long days on the road and the days when you might prefer to not run gates in minus-20 degree weather. That level of commitment instills a certain drive to the sport that is incredibly inspiring and humbling.
AVSC: If you were to tell the community one thing about AVSC, what would it be?
DS: Aspen has many great youth sports programs, but being part of AVSC, the oldest ski club in the U.S., has a special meaning. Aspen has strong roots as a world-class ski town with some of the best skiing, training and racing venues in the world. AVSC has done an incredible job building on that momentum and heritage of our history while also expanding and growing to welcome skiers and snowboarders of all abilities and ages.
At the end of the day, our goal is to create more opportunities for local youth on snow to grow the next generation of skiers and riders and I am so proud of how far we have come.
AVSC: Is there anything you would like to add?
DS: I could not be happier and prouder of what AVSC does for over 3,000 kids in the valley that have this great opportunity to participate in winter sports. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help make a difference in the lives of the youth of the Roaring Fork Valley, please get in touch. And don’t forget, our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Audi Ajax Cup, is just around the corner on Dec. 30. Visit audiajaxcup.com for more information!
Clubhouse Chronicles is a behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club that runs periodically in the Aspen Times sports section
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