Saturday, January 25, 2003
For the Barrows, being grand marshal for the Winter Carnival is all in the family.
Steamboat native and 1996 Colorado Ski Hall of Fame inductee Jim "Moose" Barrows is this year's grand marshal, 16 years after his parents, Maurine and Ray Barrows, served as grand marshals for the 74th Winter Carnival.
The family's involvement with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sport Club and connection to Howelsen Hill runs deep.
Jim Barrows was ski jumping on Howelsen Hill at age 5.
"Howelsen Hill is the best skiing facility anywhere in the world, hands down," he said. "Howelsen Hill is where all the young kids can dream. It's all about the unlimited potential you have when you are a kid."
Barrows excelled as a four-event skier, competing in ski jumping, downhill, cross country and slalom.
He earned the name "Moose" from University of Colorado coach Bob Beattie. Barrows qualified for the U.S. Ski Team in 1965 and competed in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.
His incredible fall during the downhill race got airtime on ABC's Wide World of Sports and is still played today.
Barrows raced professionally and coached junior skiers and the U.S. men's downhill team. Today he devotes much of his time to promoting skiing and supporting the next generation of skiers in the Yampa Valley.
He credits the community with the rich tradition of world-class athletes that have come from Ski Town, U.S.A.
"It's not just me," Barrows said. "It's my family and all the other families that have put so much effort into Howelsen. It's been a labor of love for so many years. That's what makes the skiing tick in this town. It's not the Steamboat Ski Area. It's Howelsen."
Barrows is no stranger to Winter Carnival. He fondly remembers the excitement of skiing down Lincoln Avenue behind a horse.
"I was very competitive," he said.
People would ride the train from Denver to watch the ski jumping competition on the final day of Winter Carnival, he said.
Barrows' continuous support of the organization and his involvement with the overall community made him an easy choice for grand marshal, said Katy Tirone, Winter Sports Club director of development and special events.
"We felt that he certainly had a presence (at Howelsen)," Tirone said. "We're certainly pleased to have him."
The Winter Carnival has changed a bit since its inception, Barrows said, but it still brings the community together.
"It's a big deal for the kids, and that's the way it should be," Barrows said.