Action County: Greg Guras | SummitDaily.com

Action County: Greg Guras

ADAM BOFFEYsummit daily news

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc

Greg GurasDecade Born: 1960sFavorite Team: Chicago CubsFavorite Band: Dire StraitsFastball or Curveball: Fastball

For more than half of his professional life, Breckenridge resident Greg Guras has been largely concerned with one thing – speed.Guras learned how to tune skis as a 10-year-old in Chicago. After racing for Western State College in Gunnison, and living for a few years in Boulder, he moved to Summit County in 1984 and began coaching for the Breckenridge Ski Club.As a self-described “ex-college racer, instructor, coach kind of guy,” Guras said he fell into tuning skis for more and more racers.Soon after migrating to Summit, managing A Racer’s Edge ski shop became Guras’ livelihood.”As everybody knows, after a couple of years you’re like ‘OK, what can I do to stay here and make enough money?'” Guras said. “So I decided to open a shop.”

After taking over A Racer’s Edge in ’87, Guras soon shifted his focus to making his wife, Amy Guras, go faster as she broke into the world of speed skiing. Amy began skiing in the Camel Speed Skiing Series, circa 1989, and later went on to compete in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.Guras met World Cup skier Marc Girardelli around the time his wife began to excel in speed skiing. Girardelli, an Austrian who skied most of his career for Luxembourg due to a falling out with Austrian officials, hired the Midwest native Guras as his personal ski technician.”Marc was looking for an edge in the twilight of his career,” Guras said. “He had already won all the medals but his technique was getting a little beat up. He was pulling out his hair because he had never finished in last place.”Guras’ working relationship with Girardelli helped propel his career in ski tuning. After spending nearly two years working for the Austrian skiing legend, Guras went out on the road as a “hired-gun wax technician,” he said. Guras has worked at numerous Olympic and World Cup events tuning equipment for the U.S. Snowboard Team, the U.S. Disabled team and the U.S. Ski Team.”I’ve worked with Bode (Miller) and Daron (Rahlves),” he said. “But I wouldn’t say we’re buds or that we call each other up or anything.”

Guras is also a part-time teacher at Colorado Mountain College, where he teaches ski-tuning classes in the winter and bike-maintenance classes in the summer.What is your greatest memory related to ski tuning?”It’s definitely Girardelli related. The night before the finals of the Vail Alpine Championships in ’89, I think it was, he told me he wanted me to tune his skis for the next day. I had super sweaty palms: Here’s what I called the greatest man in ski racing ever to live, asking me to tune his skis … He ended up in the top 20 overall but was second in all the glides. I thought, ‘Wow, I just took a guy from 54th to second in the glide overnight.'”What’s the best skiing you’ve ever done?”It was a 45-inch day at Alta. The tele skiers couldn’t ski because every time they bent a knee, there was too much friction. They all had to go up and get alpine gear. It was so deep. We had to do what I call mole turns, when the powder is flying over your head and you have to time your breathing to keep from choking. It was like heli skiing all day.”