Winter elite unite for cancer center | AspenTimes.com

Winter elite unite for cancer center

Charles Agar

Some of the nation’s premier winter athletes, including Bode Miller, Gretchen Bleiler, Kristina Koznick and Casey Puckett, were in their element when it snowed on Saturday’s golf fundraiser for Aspen’s Cancer Survivor Center.Two-time Olympic silver medalist Bode Miller wore a pair of cut-off shorts and said “It’s balmy” as he warmed up on the driving range at the Snowmass Club golf course. Snow fell in fits and starts throughout the day and the mountains surrounding Snowmass Village received a good coating of white.Gretchen Bleiler, Olympic silver medalist and Snowmass snowboarding local, said it was “great to be back home.” She was suiting up for what she called a “very recreational” round of golf to raise money for the new center.The Aspen Cancer Survivor Center follows a unique proactive approach diet and physical exercise to augment traditional cancer treatment.”It makes sense,” Bleiler said of the center’s approach. And she said she was happy to come out and raise some money for the cause.The event came into being with a phone call from 12-year-old Bobby Moyer to Bode Miller, the U.S. Ski Team’s downhill star. Moyer asked for Miller’s help to raise money for the cause and the maverick racer jumped right in.Casey Puckett, former Olympic and World Cup skier said, “I say ‘Bravo’ to little Bobby.”Puckett, who now coaches with the Aspen Valley Ski Club, said he was “happy to be able to be part of an event that supports cancer survivors.”Kristina Koznick, Olympic and World Cup downhiller, now lives in the Vail valley. She said she got an e-mail from Kathleen Callahan, and said she was delight to play in the tournament.”Injuries are easy,” Koznick said, compared to what cancer survivors have endured.Koznick said that while injured athletes can follow a prescribed regimen for their recovery, cancer survivors are often on their own after medical treatment. And that’s why, she said, the exercise and diet programs for clients of the Cancer Survivor Center are so unique.Despite the weather, some 15 foursomes of golfers got out on the course to support the center.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com.