Skiing legends to honor Beattie in Aspen |

Skiing legends to honor Beattie in Aspen

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BOB BEATTIE 2---Bob Beattie in one of his many jackets bearing television Network logos. Aspen Times photo / Daniel Bayer.

ASPEN – Many of the biggest names in skiing history will gather in Aspen this weekend to honor one of their own.

Aspen’s Bob Beattie, the creator of World Pro Skiing, co-founder of the World Cup and a ski-racing television personality for more than four decades, will be honored at a gala Friday at the Hotel Jerome Ballroom. On Saturday, teams composed of former pros, children and members of the public will take part in the Bob Beattie Reunion Cup race at Aspen Highlands.

Among the roughly 70 former racers expected to attend are Billy Kidd and fellow World Pro Skiing champions Hugo Nindle, Hank Kashiwa and Andre Arnold plus Olympic medalists Franz Klammer, Tamara McKinney, Christin Cooper, Walter Tresch and Barbara Ferries.

“Beats built the U.S. Ski Team system that made us competitive,” Kidd said. “He was my coach at the University of Colorado and the Olympics. His vision and leadership helped to create the World Cup, World Pro Skiing and NASTAR. And his ABC television commentary helped millions enjoy our favorite sport whether they skied or not.

“Bob Beattie has influenced the sport of skiing more than any other single person.”

Friday’s gala will feature cocktails, dinner and dancing plus a tribute film. Saturday’s Reunion Cup, which takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will feature the head-to-head racing format that Beattie’s World Pro Skiing tour made famous in the 1970s. A concert by John Oates will follow.

“All of us touched by his leadership and vision owe part of who we are, and even what we do, to the accomplishments and the mentoring Beats provided us,” said Mike Hunter, a former voice of World Pro Skiing and one of the celebration’s organizers. “This is our opportunity to say thank you individually and collectively. Plus, what a remarkable reunion this will be.”

Auction items at the event will include a VIP trip to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as a U.S. Ski Team guest. A portion of the money raised this weekend will be donated to the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, which Beattie teamed with to create scholarships providing opportunities for children from all economic backgrounds.

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