Ivan Petkov | AspenTimes.com

Ivan Petkov

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Longtime Roaring Fork resident Ivan Petkov passed away Sept. 8 after a long and valiant battle with cancer.

We remember his constant optimism, sense of humor and love for family, friends and sport. With a smile and infectious enthusiasm, Ivan could be seen on the ski hills of Aspen carving the perfect turn or teaching others to. Many of us will remember Ivan as a local skiing legend and the “grandfather” of shaped skis. In 1993, Ivan co-founded S Ski, which perfected the first wide shaped skis that led to a revolution in the faltering ski industry.

Born in Bulgaria, Ivan’s life was special from childhood. He was a famous child movie star in the Balkans. His early passion for skiing led him to become a member of the Bulgarian national ski team in the mid-’70s. He was an internationally ranked wind surfer in the 80s. He moved to Aspen in the late 80s and spent many years as a ski instructor; he shared his S Ski, carving technique and good humor with so many. Ivan founded a company in 2006 called Hot Gear, offering heated ski boot bags, which kept his connection with his beloved sport alive…and many World Cup skiers feet warm!

He is survived by his son Nikolai and wife Viviana, the love of his life who made the past years a joy and supported him through his challenges. As you ski this winter, making those effortless carves, remember Ivan and take a run for him.

A memorial service will be held Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. on top of Aspen Mountain with a reception at the Sundeck. Gondola passage is gratis. Contact mark@litesnow.com for info or to contribute photos. View photos of Ivan’s life at:picasaweb.google.com/jomarkph/IvanPetkov19532012?authkey=Gv1sRgCKHKxJLXyvWUYQ