Sporting clay shoot fundraiser to aid Olympic hopes |

Sporting clay shoot fundraiser to aid Olympic hopes

Bruce Perry Jr. works on his moves while training at Bald Eagle Lake outside of Steamboat Springs this week. An initiative to put Colorado-born skiers at the top of an Olympic podium holds a sporting clay shoot fundraiser Saturday.

— Eddie Eagan was born April 26, 1898, in Denver, a city of 130,000 quickly outgrowing its start as a mining-dependant frontier town.

He was one of America's first great Olympians and the only person to have ever won gold at both the summer and winter games, claiming victory in 1920 in the light-heavyweight boxing division in Antwerp and again 12 years later in the four-man bobsled in Lake Placid, N.Y.

On that cold New York day 79 years ago he became the first and only Colorado-born athlete to stand at the top of a Winter Olympics podium.

Don't believe it? It's true.

Lindsey Vonn was born in Minnesota. Billy Demong is from New York, and Deb Armstrong came to Steamboat Springs from Oregon.

What about at least one of the foursome that slid to gold in 2010 in the bobsled? Not quite: Nebraska, Utah, New York and Texas. Or the three gold-medal hockey teams? Nope, 56 times over.

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There's been as many gold medalists from Puerto Rico (Jonny Mosley, 1998) as there has from Colorado, and that's something the Colorado Gold Medal Initiative set out to fix four years ago. It's something it hopes to get some help with at a Saturday fundraiser here in Steamboat.

The initiative and the Rocky Mountain Division of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association are putting on a sporting clay shoot starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Three Quarter Circles ranch west of Steamboat.

The second annual event costs $75 a person and will begin with a breakfast included in that price.

"Last year, the initial year, we had a smallish group," event organizer Roger Perricone said. "Going into this year, I'm expecting substantial growth, maybe as many as 50 or 60."

Participants will have a chance to buy their way onto teams of four, then will make the rounds of the ranch's sporting clays range. Shotguns are available for rent, but shooters also can supply their own. Organizers recommended they bring 100 shells. Shells also can be purchased at the event.

Perricone said the Colorado Gold Medal Initiative dished out $30,000 to athletes last year, helping, for instance, Rocky Mountain Division freestyle skiers attend a camp at Steamboat's Bald Eagle Lake water ramp.

Perricone said a prime example of what the organization has in mind can be seen in Steamboat's own Taylor Fletcher. The initiative helped fund his trips to World Cup qualification competitions in Europe several years ago. Fletcher seized the opportunity and made the United States' 2010 Olympic team, competing in Nordic combined and special jumping.

"We in the competitive skiing business realized for all the fame Colorado has for being ski country, we hadn't had anyone stand on the top level of the podium at the Olympics," Perricone said. "We decided to take those kids who are the elite ski racers and help allow them to move to the next level."

As for Saturday's event, he said it should prove a hit, no matter someone's experience with a gun.

"It will be great, even if you're not overly familiar with the workings of a shotgun," he said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

If you go

What: Colorado Gold Medal Initiative sporting clay shoot fundraiser

When: The event starts with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: Three Quarter Circles Sporting Clays, 26185 West U.S. Highway 40

Cost: $75 without optional gun rental or ammunition purchases

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