Beattie to be honored at Aspen's Reunion Cup
Many of the greatest names in the history of ski racing will reunite at Aspen March 29-31 to honor the man who made their careers possible during the Bob Beattie Reunion Cup, presented by Tumi.
Beattie's history in ski racing is prolific. He created World Pro Skiing, was a co-founder of the World Cup, came up with Nastar and was a ski racing television personality for more than four decades. He will be honored at a gala at the historic Hotel Jerome Ballroom the night of March 30th.
Among notable attendees will be World Pro Champions Billy Kidd, Hugo Nindl, Hank Kashiwa, and Andre Arnold. Other Olympic medalists on the roster will include Franz Klammer, Tamara McKinney, Christin Cooper, Walter Tresch, Barbara Ferries, and more.
Pro racing standouts Richie Woodworth, Lonny Vanatta, Franz Weber, Otto Tschudi, brothers Tyler and Terry Palmer, and Woman’s Pro Champion Toril Forland, are all among 70 former racers slated to attend.
Unlike other events that honor historical personalities, this event is an organic one in which a group of former racers has rallied the sport’s athletes to come together to pay tribute to the man who played such an integral part in their lives.
While he created the US Alpine Ski Team as we know it, Beattie brought ski racing into the living rooms of Americans through his more than forty years broadcasting skiing. He also took the sport to novice skiers as the Commissioner of Nastar, the most participated-in recreational ski racing program in the world. He fostered further public interest creating the network-televised John Denver Celebrity Ski Tournaments.
Billy Kidd was the first male to win a medal in alpine skiing for the United States when he won the slalom silver in the 1964 Olympics under coach Beattie. Said Kidd, “Beats built the US Ski Team system that made us competitive. He was my coach at the University of Colorado and at the Olympics. His vision and leadership helped to create the World Cup, World Pro Skiing, and NASTAR. And his ABC television commentary helped millions enjoy our favorite sport whether they skied or not.”
Kidd added, "Bob Beattie has influenced the sport of skiing more than any other single person.”
The Bob Beattie Reunion Cup race presented by Tumi, on Saturday, March 31, will celebrate the head-to-head racing format that Beattie’s World Pro Skiing Tour made famous in the 1970’s through the unprecedented network television coverage of the tour in that era.
That Reunion Cup race will be followed by a concert by legendary rock star John Oates in the finish area of the race, presented by the Vision Council’s UV awareness campaign. Oates and Beattie are neighbors in Woody Creek, Colorado.
Mike Hunter, former voice of World Pro Skiing and one of the celebration’s organizers says “Beattie is the most influential individual in the history of ski racing. All of us touched by his leadership and vision owe part of who we are, and even what we do, to the accomplishments and the mentoring Beats provided us. This is our opportunity to say thank you individually and collectively.
"Plus, what a remarkable reunion this will be,” Hunter said referring to the ski racing personalities from several generations who will be in attendance, including those who raced for Coach Beattie at the University of Colorado, The US Ski Team and two Olympic teams (1964 and 1968).
Auction items raising money at the event will include an exclusive VIP package to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia as a guest of the US Ski Team.
The Aspen Valley Ski Club is another organization that benefited from Beattie’s devotion to expand ski racing to everyone possible. Beattie spearheaded the organization’s push to create scholarships providing an opportunity for less financially able kids to ski. The Bob Beattie Reunion Cup events will raise money that will help expand that youth program, while other funds will be devoted to building a legacy for World Pro Skiing.
For more information, visit www.worldproskiing.org
USSA photo by Kate Perhai