Three Skico instructors make elite national team
The Aspen Skiing Co. placed three ski instructors – more than any other resort in the country – on an elite national team last weekend.Twin sisters Megan Harvey and Katie Fry, 31, were re-selected for the Professional Ski Instructors of America National Alpine Team. Charlie MacArthur, 39, was selected for the first time.”It reaffirms our training process and the quality of our pros, is the bottom line,” said Rich Burkley, managing director of the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen.Getting named to the national team is as great an honor for ski instructors as getting voted onto the All-Star Team is for baseball players. It’s an honor that only a few of either sports’ participants receive.”It’s the pinnacle of ski instructing,” said Harvey.Thousands of ski pros from around the country tried out for PSIA’s National Alpine Team. Only 15 made it. Aspen was the only resort with more than one member on the national team.The team was named Sunday evening at the end of six days of tryouts in Snowbird, Utah. Winners will serve for four years. They must commit to 45 days of conducting training for other instructors at various resorts each season.Harvey, reached at her hotel in Snowbird Monday afternoon, said 71 instructors were in the running for the final round. The Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen sent seven pros to the nationals.The field of 71 was reduced to 27 after rigorous skiing tests and teaching exercises. The field was further reduced to 20 after four days. Aspenite Greg Harms also made it to that point.Harvey said the last two days of the tryouts featured more skiing, indoor work sessions and team skill testing before the final cut to 15 was made.This was Harvey’s third attempt at making the national team. She was unsuccessful in 1992, then earned a four-year term in 1996. This tryout, she said, was the most nerve-wracking and it had the highest standards.”I think there was more pressure,” Harvey said. “You wanted to show the selectors they made the right decision last time.”Plus there was the added pressure of trying to stay at the top of the profession. “You have 70 people who want your job,” Harvey said.Like Burkley, she said the competition and results spoke well for Aspen’s ski school. Aspen’s placement of seven instructors in the finals was unprecedented.Advancing from the Rocky Mountain regional competition along with MacArthur and Harms were Kurt Fehrenbach, Dan O’Connell and Scott Kane. Fry and Harvey had automatic invitations to the national competition because they were incumbents on the team.Skico instructor and national team member Victor Gerdin chose not to compete for a slot again. Gerdin was a national team member from 1984 to 1992 and from 1996 to 2000.Harvey said nine of the 15 national team members tried out again this year. Six of them made it.She said she looks forward to participating on the team for another four years, despite the hard work and frequent travel during winters.
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