Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame announces new class
VAIL — The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame has announced the election of four sport builders and athletes and one pioneer of the ski industry to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in October.
Elected from a deserving group of 15 finalists, the Class of 2015 includes sport builders and athletes Dr. Jack Eck, Ceil Folz, George “Bud” Marolt and Kent Myers, as well as pioneer Bob Singley.
The five new inductees join a prestigious roster of Hall of Fame athletes, sport builders and visionaries who have made major contributions to Colorado’s ski industry over many decades.
They’ll be formally inducted during the 39th annual Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Gala at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort on Oct. 2.
“We are pleased to honor this incredible class of Hall of Fame inductees selected from an inspiring list of richly deserving nominees,” said Susie Tjossem, executive director of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame. “The voting panel truly had a tough task in selecting only five from among so many great candidates.”
This year’s class was selected from 15 finalists, including Pam Conklin, Shannon Dunn, Cheryl Jensen, Scott Kennett, John Lovett, Paul Major, Mike and Steve Marolt, John McBride, Casey Puckett, Chris Puckett and Charles Smith.
The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame is located on the third level of the Vail Village parking structure. It is a trove of ski and snowboard history with themed galleries displaying artifacts, narratives and film documentaries including the featured story of famed 10th Mountain Division training at Colorado’s Camp Hale. For more information about the Museum and Hall of Fame schedule, call 970-476-1876 or go to http://www.skimuseum.net.
Dr. Jack Eck, Sport Builder
Jack Eck, since 1971, has been on the ground floor of many of the life-saving techniques used on-hill to treat injured skiers. He applied his experience as a Vietnam medic to shape advanced orthopedic and medical first responder techniques used by the Ski Patrol. His practices influenced the U.S. Ski Team and were adopted by resorts nationwide. He played a lead role in gaining acceptance of ski brakes to replace injury prone safety straps. He established an Emergency Medical Services System into place, the Professional Ski Patrol basic qualification requirements, and did annual training for new patrollers. He was the course medical director for the 1989 and 1999 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships and is the Medical Committee chairman for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Ceil Folz, Sport Builder
Ceil Folz has been working for the Vail Valley Foundation since 1989 and has been president of the Vail Valley Foundation since 1999. Her leadership has brought huge support for the annual World Cup alpine events to Colorado. As president of the Vail Valley Foundation, she was responsible for executing the successful bid and subsequently the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships, which this winter stunned the sport by reaching a new height. Ceil and her staff deserves credit for taking Colorado to a new standard — over 2,200 volunteers, huge crowds watching the races, TV coverage around the world reaching 800 million, all in a major ski sport “happening.” Ceil has provided the leadership to support skiing.
George ‘Bud’ Marolt, Athlete-Sport Builder
Bud Marolt is the eldest of the Marolt brothers from Aspen. An accomplished ski racer, he won the 1950 R.M. Downhill, Slalom and Combined Championships and was a forerunner in the 1950 FIS World Championships in Aspen. By age 20 he was a ski instructor and certified National Ski Patrolman. He was a member of the 1952 national team and qualified for the 1952 Olympic team but was unable to participate because of family obligations. He continued to patrol and teach in Aspen through 1953. After moving to Denver he became involved with Gordie Wren at Loveland Ski School. He started kids ski programs that brought 2,500 kids from Denver to ski each winter. He founded the Loveland Basin Ski club and established the Loveland Derby, the oldest amateur ski race in the U.S. He served as president of RMSIA, helping build the organization. He brought Clif Taylor to Loveland to introduce the Graduated Length Method. All at the same time, his “day job” was a hard goods buyer for Denver Dry Goods and consultant for Rosemont boots.
Kent Myers, Sport Builder
Kent Myers had a career in ski resort marketing that has spanned five Colorado ski resorts, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Steamboat, Vail and Beaver Creek, before starting Airplanners LLC, which is best known for direct air service programs to ski resorts. At Winter Park, Kent started its transformation to a destination resort, at Steamboat he created the first Kids Ski Free promotion and non-stop air service to Yampa Regional Airport, at Vail he started the successful Fly Vail campaign, and at Beaver Creek he shepherded development of Strawberry Park, redevelopment of Beaver Creek Village and ski connection to Arrowhead. His next venture, Airplanners, LLC, develops and manages commercial air service for resort communities through alliances between the local airports, communities and airlines. Through airline guarantees resort community airports have attracted new direct flights saving the desirable destination skiers valuable time and reduction of travel hassle. Direct flights have resulted in increased skier days.
Bob Singley, Athlete-Pioneer
Bob Singley is a humble man yet colorful character credited with being the visionary and innovator of freestyle and extreme skiing. A legendary Winter Park ski patroller in the 1960s, his enthusiastic and infectious joy for skiing and unbelievable skills pushed the boundaries and expanded the sport of skiing from the beautifully executed parallel turns of the 1940s into the unimaginable feats of freestyle and extreme skiing that we see today. This pioneer of fun-style skiing helped found Fraser’s Tirebitter Ski Club, which he still runs today. The club is based on fun-first instead of serious ski racing, which aligns with Singley’s rule-eschewing ethos. The club’s signature ski race, The Singley Epworth Cup, is one of the nation’s longest running summer ski races — a tribute to grassroots fun-first ski competitions. Singley’s audacious skiing lead him to be a skiing stuntman in pal Robert Redford’s “Downhill Racer” as well as the James Bond movie “On Her Majesties Secret Service.” New hips and knees are lingering evidence of his skiing escapades that made him one of the most memorable ski patrollers in Colorado history.
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