Aspen Ski Club’s Mark Godomsky: Remembering Bob Beattie
Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club
The ski community lost a legend this past weekend. Bob Beattie accomplished a great deal in his life — founding the U.S. Ski Team, coaching Billy Kidd and Jimmie Heuga to the first Olympic medals for American male alpine skiers, founding the World Cup, and reimagining the traditional format of ski racing through the World Pro Ski Tour to name a few.
To say that Bob is the grandfather of ski racing is an understatement — his influence is far-reaching and will be long-lasting.
What the global ski community might not know is that he was also a deeply caring and thoughtful individual who fought passionately to give local children the opportunity to learn to ski and snowboard, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. I want to take a moment to celebrate and thank Bob for his contributions in the Roaring Fork Valley, specifically for his dedication to Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club.
In 1989, Bob, along with Brooke Peterson and Charif Souki, started “Aspen Supports Kids” (ASK) after realizing a troubling trend: skiing was becoming less and less affordable for local families. ASK offered lessons, equipment, and ski passes to local children at a discounted rate. ASK’s name eventually changed to “Base Camp,” but the mission has remained the same for nearly 30 years: providing financially and logistically accessible learn-to-ski programs for the youth of the Roaring Fork Valley.
Bob remained passionate about and engaged in the Base Camp program until the end of his life; he would frequently call or visit the AVSC Clubhouse or invite members of the staff out to lunch to discuss everything from expanding the Nordic program to developing press opportunities to recruiting new athletes.
He delivered candid, unfiltered, honest feedback with a smile. He cared deeply about the success of AVSC and about each and every child he crossed paths with.
Bob’s favorite night of the year was the Base Camp equipment night, where over 400 scholarship athletes receive the equipment that they get to use for the season from D&E and Gorsuch. Just this past December, Bob sat and watched as crowds of families passed through Gorsuch, collecting their equipment and buzzing with excitement for the season ahead. He remarked on the impressive number of kids and quickly added, “but next year we’ll have more, don’t you think?”
In its first season of operation, ASK had 25 athletes. As we wrap up the winter season, we celebrate the progression of over 1,500 Base Camp athletes. We will miss Bob tremendously, but his legacy and spirit will live on in our mountains through every child that has learned (or will learn) to ski as a result of his passion and dedication. Our hearts go out to Marci as well as Bob’s children, Zeno and Susan. Thank you, Bob, for your impact on skiing, worldwide as well as right here in Aspen.
Mark Godomsky is the executive director of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
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