Five inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Museum Hall of Fame
With fall colors sprawling across the Centennial State, Colorado’s snowsports industry gathered Saturday, Oct. 6, in Vail to celebrate the Colorado Snowsports Museum Hall of Fame Induction Gala.
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame has more than 200 members, and some of them were in attendance at the Vail Marriott on Saturday to welcome five new members.
While a celebration of members of the snowsports community, the annual gala raises funds for the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame, which recently underwent a $2.6 million renovation and boasting some really cool features on display.
“A museum’s not just about stuff,” said Susie Tjossem, who has spent 42 years in the ski industry including taking over as executive director of the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum in 2007. “Its purpose is to tell stories, like the ones here tonight. It houses their legacy forever.”
On display at the upgraded museum is an interactive display of Colorado ski resorts, those currently operating and those that have closed down over the years. On Sunday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m., the Class of 2018’s Hall of Fame exhibit will be unveiled.
As with any Colorado skiing history, the 10th Mountain Division was front and center of the annual gala.
“It’s humbling to be in your presence,” a current 10th Mountain Division general told those in attendance who originally fought in World War II with the 10th Mountain Division, including Sandy Treat and Dick Over.
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Induction Gala is one of the most important celebrations of the state’s snowsports industry and is a unique opportunity to mix and mingle with the men and women who helped shape the Colorado ski and snowboard industry. Here’s a look at the five newest members of the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame.
Coming out of Steamboat Springs, Lonny Vanatta is known as a once-in-a-generational talent that made a legacy decision in 1978.
Buddy Werner was going to the Olympics when Vanatta was learning to ski race, but by age 18, Vanatta himself was named to the U.S. Ski Team.
However, ski racing in the mid-1970s was unsettled by politics and Vanatta was not invited back to the U.S. Ski Team. Considering retirement, college and other directions, electing to compete on the World Pro Ski Tour would come to define him.
With many European ski racers being jettisoned by their national federations, Bob Beattie’s World Pro Skiing experiment emerged as a success, featuring dozens of established ski stars, ages 30 and older. The Pro Tour was able to pay athletes and was a fun, sometime wild, world of ski racing.
Following his retirement from the tour in 1984, Vanatta coached the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club for 17 years before forming his own outfitting business, Vanatta Outfitters.
Vail professional skier Chris Anthony is a renaissance man, and a University of Colorado graduate.
During the course of his career, Anthony has spent more than 28 years traveling as a member of the Warren Miller film team as both an athlete and host, freelanced for several publications, co-authored a guidebook, commissioned and wrote a screenplay and hosted and produced several TV and film projects, including the 10th Mountain Division documentary “Climb to Glory.”
In 2013, he created a nonprofit foundation to honor his desire to impact youth. The Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project introduces youth to skiing and the great outdoors while providing a unique angle to approaching academics.
His passion has led to thousands of volunteer hours for nonprofit organizations and more than $1 million raised on their behalf.
The sport of skiing in Colorado has been the beneficiary of Brad Ghent’s lifelong dedication, and during his speech at the gala, it was a family affair.
Ghent started as a successful junior racer who would walk on to the University of Colorado Ski Team — earing a spot on the Buff’s NCAA Championships teams all four years in Boulder in the mid-1970s.
He went on to serve as the director of the regional elite race series, head coach of the Winter Park Race Team and then getting into the U.S. Ski Team as a development coach for the women. He worked his way up to head women’s alpine coach, leading his team to four World Championship podium appearances in 1985.
Having built a successful rental car business in Fort Collins, Ghent moved his family to Vail in 1991.
Skiing is an ageless sport, in part thanks to Jerry “Moe” Mosley and the creation of the Over the Hill Gang, born at Copper Mountain in 1976.
In his speech at the gala, Mosley kept the room laughing with his sense of humor and passion for skiing.
With Bill Magill and Tom Stein, the vision was simple: keep ski enthusiasts older than 50 from dropping out of the sport. In 1986, Copper Mountain purchased the rights to the Over the Hill Gang, making it a division of the Copper Ski School, as the program’s membership grew to more than 700 skiers, with a waiting list of 500 enthusiastic senior skiers.
The Over the Hill Gang was more than just a ski program and included year-round social gatherings to maintain camaraderie.
No single individual did more to stimulate, encourage, endorse and participate in the Over the Hill Gang than Mosley. For 40 years, Mosley has been a continual supporter for senior skiers.
For 37 years, Bob Dart was Winter Park’s North Star.
In nearly four decades as a Winter Park employee, he has served as a member of the race crew, snowmaker, competition center director and, finally, director of mountain maintenance and lift maintenance.
Through his work with the Winter Park Competition Center, he became immersed in the U.S. Ski Association, becoming a highly respected voice in the world of ski competition. In 2001, Dart served as the FIS Technical Delegate for the 2005 Alpine World Ski Championships in Bormio, Italy, as well as the 2011 Hahnenkamm World Cup downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria, among other assignments.
While his work with USSA took him all over the world, Winter Park was always home.
Dart passed away in November of 2015 while working on the mountain he loved.
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Strange is a word that will likely define the winter high school sports season. But, after numerous delays and endless doubts, that season is finally here. It will include fewer games, more masks and a lot of empty seats, but adapting to that strangeness is better than the alternative.