Snowmass history: True devotion to the sport |

Snowmass history: True devotion to the sport

Mark Godfrey, an amputee ski racer.
Aspen Historical Society/Aspen Times file

“Mark Godfrey Carves Both Edges,” read a headline in The Aspen Times on April 4, 1985. If you don’t know the Godfrey story, there is a new film about it, but in this article, they focus on his skiing and his backstory to get to the National Handicapped Ski Championships. “To ski, Mark uses the usual ‘tri-track’ arrangement — a single ski augmented by two outrigger skis attached to modified poles. As anyone who’s ever tried to get down a hill on one ski (or done it inadvertently) knows, carving on both edges of a single ski in no easy skill to learn. Mark had been a good skier before the plane crash. He spent just about a year recuperating, but thanks to Snowmass Ed Luchs, who’s also the president of the Aspen chapter of the National Handicapped Sports and Recreation Association, he took up the sport again. ‘I was terrible,’ he recalls of his first attempts, shaking his head. It was a long, tough process to build up the strength needed to function on one leg, and to master the subtleties of steering a single ski with three quarters of a leg. Mark has an added challenge that other one-legged skiers don’t, in that he must carve his turns using only the knee and hip, he has no ankle to roll.” Less than a year later, after this story ran, Godfrey raced again in Snowmass for the Rocky Mountain Regional Handicapped Races in early 1986.

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