Utah Honors Skiing Olympians

Salt Lake City, UT – Olympic medalists who shared a piece of history with the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding’s record performance in Vancouver will reunite on stage in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Utah Ski Archives’ annual Ski Affair. The 10 athletes from the Intermountain West will be honored in front of an anticipated sell-out crowd of over 500 at Salt Lake’s Little America hotel.nAll the honorees at the 2010 Ski Affair have one thing in common: they all can get down a snow-covered mountain quickly. Very quickly. Quickly enough, in fact, to garner championships on the national collegiate, World Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games stages.

No doubt, speed will be the underlying theme of the 2010 Ski Affair awards program that will highlight the evening of Oct. 27 when more than 500
nostalgia-bent ski enthusiasts gather at Salt Lake City’s Little America Hotel to launch the new ski season and help raise money for the preservation of skiing history in the region.

Ten of the honorees will be members of the U.S. Ski Team from the region who won medals during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and during the past season’s World Cup competition. They will receive the Ski Affair’s coveted History-Maker Awards that salute individuals or groups which have made contributions of historic proportions to the advancement of winter sports in the Intermountain Region.

The U.S. Ski Team honorees include:

  • Shannon Bahrke, Salt Lake City, women’s freestyle moguls, bronze medal
  • Brett Camerota, Park City, UT, nordic combined team event, silver medal
  • Billy Demong, Park City, UT, nordic combined large hill, gold medal
  • Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, graduate of Park City’s Winter School, women’s downhill, silver medal; women’s super combined, silver medal
  • Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, Boise, ID, men’s freestyle aerials, silver medal
  • Danelle and Rob Umstead, Taos, NM, who ski out of the Park City-based National Ability Center, Paralympic Winter Games women’s visually impaired, downhill, bronze medal; super combined visually impaired bronze medal
  • Stephani Victor, Park City, UT, Paralympic Winter Games women’s slalom sit-ski, silver medal; giant slalom sit-ski, silver medal; super combined sit-ski, gold medal
  • Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY native living in Park City, UT, super G, bronze medal
  • Bryon Wilson, Butte, MT, living in Park City, UT, men’s moguls, bronze medal;

Also to be honored will be Salt Lake City native and former U.S. Ski Team athlete Jim Gaddis, who will receive the S.J. Quinney Award for his significant contributions to the development of skiing in the region.

In the late 1950s, Gaddis was a multi-year junior national champion and later dominated the national racing circuits, winning the NCAA combined title, the U.S. Championships giant slalom title and the Snow Cup. He garnered NCAA All-American honors in 1960 and 1962 while competing for the University of Utah where he was team captain for three years. Later he became a prominent ski coach and founded one of Utah’s first racing programs for the development of junior racers, the Gaddis Training Organization (GTO). He was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Utah Crimson Club Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Quinney Award is named in honor of the late S. Joseph (Joe) Quinney, prominent Utah lawyer, businessman, state legislator, ski visionary and founder of Alta Ski Area, the first in Utah to offer lift-served skiing in 1938.

According to Barbara Yamada, chair of the 40-member volunteer board of directors of the Ski Affair, the event is open to the public and reservations ($80 per person, $1,300 for sponsored table of 10) must be made by Oct. 20 via the website www.skiarchives.org or by calling (801) 581-3421. The evening’s festivities include a social hour, silent auction, a buffet dinner and the awards program.

The 2010 event will mark the 20th anniversary of the Ski Affair, proceeds of which are earmarked for the Ski Archives whose missions is to collect, preserve and catalogue ski and snowboard-related items of historical significance. The archive is housed at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library. Since its inception in 1989, the archives have grown to become one of the largest repositories of ski history in the country. Its files include special collections, files, thousands of photos, film, scrapbooks and documents from area ski resorts, prominent ski families, individuals, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games.

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