Clubhouse Chronicles: Return of the World Cup to Aspen inspires AVSC athletes |

Clubhouse Chronicles: Return of the World Cup to Aspen inspires AVSC athletes

Clubhouse Chronicles
Mikaela Shiffrin, left, poses with some young AVSC skiers during the 2017 World Cup finals in Aspen.
Courtesy of AVSC

The return of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup to Aspen has the town buzzing. Not only is this an incredible milestone in the long legacy of ski racing in Aspen, but it also has a significant impact on our local athletes who have the opportunity to witness their heroes put their speed and skills to the test in our backyard.

Everyone here at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC), from staff to athletes, could not be more excited to be involved and witness the action.

Ski racing has an incredibly rich history in Aspen, and we are excited to continue this tradition for the next generation of racers. Aspen has hosted numerous World Cup downhills (the most prestigious ski racing events outside of the Winter Olympics), dating to the 1950 world championships. 

The Aspen ski racing scene started long before the inaugural Aspen World Cup. The first ever Roch Cup Ski Race was hosted in Aspen in 1937, nine years before the first chair lift, Lift One, was installed. At this time, racers would hike to the start at the top of the hill. By the time Aspen won the bid for the 1950 event, we were also celebrating the 22nd annual Andre Roch Cup Championships.

Our kids have grown up watching the world’s best skiers tackle the challenging slopes of Aspen, and the return of the World Cup is a source of inspiration and motivation for young, aspiring AVSC athletes. They aim to compete at this level someday and follow in the footsteps of their heroes.

The event provides an incredible opportunity for our kids to witness high-level ski racing up close and personal, allowing them to learn from the best and see what it takes to make it to the top. The event serves as a reminder that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

Being slope side while the fastest ski racers in the world fly by you is truly exhilarating. The speed and power are unimaginable. They sound like jets whistling by. This is where you get a real feel for speed. The sound of the skis arcing and rattling through the snow adds a certain education and perspective to the experience.

We believe the opportunity for young racers to witness the pro racers firsthand with their tremendous thighs, in their tight speed suits, reinforces the idea that anything is possible with commitment.

World Cup ski racing is set to return to Aspen this week for the first time since the 2017 finals.
Courtesy of AVSC

The World Cup is not just a showcase of top-level ski racing, but it is also a celebration of our community and the mountain culture that AVSC and our community holds dear. Experiencing the buzz in town and the collaboration of people and community for a common cause brings out the best of Aspen.

The return of the World Cup to Aspen is a significant moment for our ski club and the local kids who aspire to become the next generation of ski racers. It is a source of inspiration, motivation and learning for our kids, and it brings our community together.

We are proud to be part of this tradition and look forward to watching the best skiers in the world tackle the slopes of Aspen once again.

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.