The World Pro Ski Tour (WPST) hosted the Alpine Bank Jr. World Pro Challenge
ski race in Steamboat Springs in March. The race awarded
college scholarships to the top
four racers from Ski Club Vail
and Winter Sports Club in
Steamboat. Utilizing the WPST
pros as mentors, 16 racers
under age 14 experienced
the dual format, saloon-style start gates and pro
jumps. Just like the pros! The
eight kids from Ski Club
Vail qualified for the race at
the Prater Cup in Crested Butte.
Olympian and former World Cup racer Chad Fleischer said, “It was a day of firsts.” First time scholarship money was won by kids at a junior ski
race. First time multiple generations of ski racers
took part together–
from Billy Kidd (Olympic silver medal 1964 and World Pro Ski Tour Champion
1970) to Chad Fleischer (World Cup Star 1990s)
and Phil Brown (World Championship
silver medal 2017, World Pro
Ski Tour Champion 2019), as well as other current racing pros.
first time the junior racers from the different Colorado valleys played together, skied together and
connected as friends and colleagues. Lifelong lessons of giving,
camaraderie and competition, along with an appreciation of the joy of skiing, could be seen on the Steamboat slopes on that snowy day.
both clubs got to practice their television interview
skills with CBS Sports Reporter Pam Fletcher. The race aired on CBS
Sports television network on April 29. Now available on Hulu or Roku or on YouTube here.
presented the top junior racers trophies donated by Billy Kidd and Moose Barrows (trophies
originally won at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics). This generous gesture by Moose and Billy was a
poignant way of carrying
the tradition of ski racing forward to a new generation.
Parent Stephanie Orozco summed up the day, “The
JR pro ski event was amazing.
I heard the word FUN a million times, smiles on all the kids faces
and sheer pride of conquering the pro course. It was so well done.
Very soulful and special because of Billy and Moose’s
contribution of stories
and historic trophies. There was so much
integrity and respect. In addition, the Vail Wolfpack and Steamboat Outlaws rolled around in the snow waiting
for the awards like a bunch
of 13-year-old boys. We need
more events like this!
racers winning college scholarships provided by Alpine Bank were Alex Krupka in first, $1,000 (SSCV), in second was Speedy Richeda winning $500 (SSWSC), third was Jonah Fleischer for $300 (SSWSC), and in fourth was Hunter Salani prize of $200 (SSCV). The Overall Team title and trophy was awarded to Steamboat’s Ski Club.