Free Keystone, Breckenridge ski racing clinics to kick-off Summit County 50+ Winter Games | SummitDaily.com

Free Keystone, Breckenridge ski racing clinics to kick-off Summit County 50+ Winter Games

Two free ski-racing clinics at Keystone and Breckenridge Ski Resorts highlight new additions to next month's 38th Summit County 50+ Winter Games.

The two clinics will kick off this year's schedule of events on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Breckenridge Ski Resort and Thursday, Feb. 8, at Keystone Resort before competitors pick up their event packets on Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Summit County Community and Senior Center for the multi-day games that run through Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Anyone registered for the 50+ Winter Games is permitted to take part in the free clinics, though pre-registration with the Summit County Community and Senior Center is required.

Sunday's opening festivities at the Senior Center will also consist of a silent auction from 4-6 p.m. and an event opening carbo-load dinner at 5:30 p.m. The dinner costs $15, and guests are invited to attend even if they are not competing in the 50+ Winter Games.

Then on Monday, Feb. 12, the main portion of the games will commence with morning skating and Alpine ski events at Keystone Ski Resort. A one-lap skating race is slated for a 9 a.m. start and a four-lap skating race is scheduled for a 9:15 start. Singles and doubles figure skating will also take place at 9:30 a.m. while the John Roberts Memorial Hockey Goal Shoot will be at 10 a.m.

Over on the slopes, the morning's Alpine ski events will kick-off with the giant slalom at 10 a.m. while the rally race will take place at 11 a.m. and the obstacle course will run from noon to 3 p.m.

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On Tuesday, Feb. 13, the 50+ Games will head over to the Frisco Nordic Center where Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and snowball toss events will take place. The intermediate/advanced 10-kilometer freestyle Nordic race will begin at 9 a.m. while the beginner 2.5K classic Nordic and 2.5K skate races will commence at 9:30 a.m.

Then at 10:30 a.m., the 5K beginner to moderate intermediate classic Nordic race will begin at the same time the beginner to intermediate biathlon classic will begin.

The snowshoe races will take place in the afternoon. The 3-4 kilometer-long race will begin at noon followed by the 2K short course race at 12:30 p.m. The Frisco Nordic Center will also host the snowball toss event from 10 a.m. to noon.

The 50+ Winter Games award ceremony will then take place at 3 p.m., at the Summit County Community and Senior Center.

"Summit seniors focus on what brings people to Summit County — a passion for the outdoors, and the 50+ Winter Games provide lighthearted competition to highlight that passion," said Sandy Bainbridge, the event's publicity chairperson. "And I believe that through the Games we also challenge the idea that your athleticism ends at 50, 60, 70 or 80. For some people, this is their time to discover new talents and interests, and they finally have the time to train."

All proceeds from the Summit County 50+ Winter Games benefit the group that organizes the games, the Summit County Senior Citizens Group.

Last year, the SCSC raised more than $50,000 from events like the 50+ Winter Games. They subsequently donated more than $50,000 in grants primarily to health and human service nonprofits in Summit County, which serve senior citizens. Funds raised are also used to assist seniors in need.

To pre-register for the games, participants must submit their $35 per-person sign-up fee by 4 p.m. on Feb. 4. For competitors who don't have a season ski pass, $52 reduced fee Keystone day ski passes are available. For more information or to register, visit SummitSeniorCenter.com, call 970-668-2940 or email seniors@summitcountyco.gov.

Racing experience is not required to participate in the games, and medals are awarded in nine different age categories. For those interested in volunteering on Feb. 12 or 13, contact Barb Becker at 303-690-9096 or bbleeski@q.com.

The 50+ Winter Games originally started in 1981 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. In 1982, the games were held at Devil's Thumb Ranch near Winter Park. The games moved to Summit County in 1983 and Keystone Resort and the Frisco Nordic Center currently host the Games.