Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inducts the class of 2015
VAIL — The annual Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction event is more of a class reunion than an induction.
Wandering around the event is to walk among giants of Colorado’s snow-sports industry. The class of 2015 ranged from a Lutheran minister to a movie skier and daredevil who says he may be the reason skiers have more rules than they used to.
The class of 2015 includes sport builders and athletes Dr. Jack Eck, Ceil Folz, George “Bud” Marolt, Kent Myers and pioneer Bob Singley.
When the speechifying about each inductee was done, emcee Johnnie Stevens told each one, “Having been elected by your peers, we hereby bestow upon you the highest honor in Colorado snow sport.”
Honoring its roots
Because most of Colorado’s ski industry traces its roots to the famed 10th Mountain Division, Dick Over, 10th Mountain Division veteran, opened Friday’s event in Vail.
Over’s dad was a Marine in World War I and didn’t want Dick to go to World War II, but he reluctantly signed the papers for his underage son.
On Friday, Over spoke eloquently about the 3,000 soldiers who died on Mount Belvedere in the Apennine Mountains in Italy. Riva Ridge was a key access point to Mount Belvedere.
They deserve to have their story told, Over said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to help tell that story,” Over said.
Ceil Folz said she was a bit of a reluctant inductee.
“I’m blown away by the people who are already in the Hall of Fame,” she said. “This award really goes to all the people who made the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships so successful,” Folz said.
Kent Myers’ work centered around creating direct airline service to Colorado’s ski resorts, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors and billions of dollars into the industry.
“We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time,” Myers is still fond of saying.
Dr. Jack Eck was a combat medic and flight surgeon in Vietnam.
“I said, ‘If I survive this, I’m going to a ski area for the winter,’” he said.
Bob Singley smiled as he said he is one of the reasons skiers have so many more rules now than they used to.
“To everyone who said, ‘I bet you can’t jump off that cliff or over that highway,’ and encouraged me to go faster, thank you,” Singley said.
Bud Marolt was born in Aspen and reminisced about 75 years of skiing, closing with, “Thanks for the memories.”
George “Bud” Marolt is the eldest of the Marolt brothers, all Aspen icons and all three are in the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
During his induction speech, he spun yarns about 75 years of skiing, especially those early Aspen days when he and his brothers and their friends spent their days on Aspen’s slopes.
Bud became one of best American ski racers during the post-war era.
He won the 1950 R.M. downhill, slalom and combined championships and was a forerunner in the 1950 FIS World Championships in Aspen.
By age 20 he was a ski instructor and certified National Ski Patrolman. He was a member of the 1952 national team and qualified for the 1952 Olympic team, but was unable to participate because of family obligations.
He continued to patrol and teach in Aspen through 1953.
Rev. Don Simonton received a Lifetime Achievement Award, accepted by his son, Cliff Simonton.
Simonton wrote articles on a wide variety of topics for local newspapers, Ski Magazine and other publications while co-authoring four books with his wife about the history of Vail and Beaver Creek. He died March 17.
Staff writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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