Peak Performers nominee: Elise Sather, snowboarding
Editor’s note: Readers nominated their all-time favorite Summit County athletes for Peak Performers: The Mount Rushmore of Summit County athletes. Voting begins Sunday, Feb. 23, at SummitDaily.com/peakperformers.
Nominee: Elise Sather (Radebaugh)
Way back when in 1990, a teenaged Elise Sather represented Team Summit in its first year as a club with a U.S. Amateur Snowboard Association national championship at Mount Hood in Oregon, one of the highlights of a trailblazing career for a female snowboarder.
Sather won that first national championship at age 13 in the halfpipe. In the ensuing years — as her father, coach and Team Summit founder Don Sather proclaimed Colorado “the snow-surfing capital of the world” — Elise Sather won more junior national championships in several snowboard disciplines, including halfpipe and Alpine.
Sather rode for Team Summit after her father created the club in 1990 because she and other young riders did not have a high school team for the sport in which they were beginning to excel.
In 1991, the Summit Sports and Education Foundation joined forces with Team Summit, a step that led to the current Team Summit Colorado and all of the various snowboarding and freeskiing disciplines the club offers. In a way, the progression of the club was influenced by early trend-setting riders like Sather and the original Team Summit snowboard club.
Sather, a world champion in the snowboard combined (halfpipe and parallel slalom) at the age of 17, retired due to shoulder injuries before getting the chance to qualify for snowboarding’s debut at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.
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