Ski legend Franz Klammer to receive award |

Ski legend Franz Klammer to receive award

Aspen Times Staff Report

Austrian ski legend Franz Klammer will be presented with Piaget Spirit of Skiing award in Aspen as part of the Audi Spirit of Skiing benefit event on Feb. 24-27.

The Spirit of Skiing extravaganza will unite ski luminaries, such as Klammer, Tamara McKinney, Billy Kidd and Steve Podborski, with entertainers like Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jill St. John, Robert Wagner and Jim Sikking.

Event planners hope to raise some $100,000 to $150,000 to fund research into prostate cancer, which claims 38,000 lives annually and affected 184,000 new patients last year. Proceeds will go to the Prostate Cancer Initiative, as well as Aspen’s Neighbor to Neighbor program.

The Spirit of Skiing festivities will kick off with the award presentation to Klammer, whose dramatic run to capture the gold medal in the downhill at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria is regarded as one of the great moments in all of sports.

Previous winners of the Spirit of Skiing award include 1952 Olympic giant slalom gold medalist Stein Eriksen; Aspen local and ski accessory manufacturer Klaus Obermeyer; and Dick Durrance, an Aspenite and ski industry pioneer.

Other activities include a concert by Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter at the St. Regis on Friday, Feb. 25, two days of skiing activities, and a gala dinner and silent auction.

“It will be a fantastic weekend with a lot of fun activities, but we all are looking to turn this fun into something positive for the Prostate Cancer Initiative,” said ski racer Kiki Cutter. “We are hoping to raise $100,000 to $150,000.”

Cutter, an Aspen local and creator of the Spirit of Skiing, was the first American to win a World Cup ski race.

The Prostate Cancer Initiative is a national program developed by the Cancer Research Institute in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Its goal is eradicating prostate cancer through clinical research, patient education and increased public awareness focusing on early detection.

The Drive Against Prostate Cancer effort will also be in Aspen for the event; the organization features a specially designed mobile medical vehicle that will provide free prostate screenings during the weekend.

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