Peak Performers nominee: C.J. Mueller, Alpine skiing
Editor’s note: Readers are invited to nominate their all-time favorite Summit County athletes for Peak Performers: The Mount Rushmore of Summit County athletes. The Summit Daily News is accepting nominations through Saturday. To make a nomination, visit SummitDaily.com/peakperformers. Voting begins Feb. 23.
Nominee: John “C.J.” Mueller
Sport: Alpine skiing
John “C.J.” Mueller, a Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame member, is a skier synonymous with the high-Alpine at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Described by those who know him as an ultimate representative of an athlete through and through, Mueller first came across Breckenridge’s skiing community in 1972.
Voting online: Feb. 23 to March 7
Go to SummitDaily.com/PeakPerformers to nominate, learn more
In subsequent years, Mueller was one of the true trail-breaking locals who skied the terrain above treeline at Breckenridge, including a run that is named after him: “C.J.’s.”
Mueller’s nickname, “C.J.,” stands for “Crazy John,” as Mueller grew to be known as a high-speed skier unafraid of skiing as fast — or faster — than cars travel on Interstate 70. Unlike most ski racers, Mueller went from ski bum in Breckenridge to elite ski racer. Most others take the opposite route. Mueller qualified for the U.S. National Downhill Championships in 1978 and 1979 and was one of the leading speed-skiing pioneers of the 1980s, becoming the first skier to exceed 130 mph in 1987.
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A three-time speed-skiing world record holder whose top speed was clocked at 137 mph, Mueller was a member of U.S. Speed Skiing Team and a top-10 finisher at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, where speed skiing was a demonstration sport. To elevate acceptance of the sport, Mueller worked with Swix to perfect wax performance and with the International Ski Federation to improve safety.
Now almost 70 years old, Mueller remains a character most emblematic of Breckenridge’s free-spirited skiing roots, and he still finds himself in his favorite spots on the mountain many a winter day.
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