Steamboat resident retires as Canadian coach

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— Headed into the 2005-06 season, Bobby Aldighieri knew that his passion for skiing would not be enough to overcome the fatigue of five years spent living on the road.

So the Canadian National Team's moguls coach told his skiers he would not return after the season ended. This spring, Aldighieri made it official by announcing his retirement from coaching at the national level.

"I was at home seven days in three months," said Aldighieri, a Steamboat Springs resident. "I love coaching, and I'm going to miss it a lot, but I wanted to spend more time at home, and I decided that the time to settle down is now."

Aldighieri started coaching in Steam--boat during the 1997 season, when he led a group of freestyle skiers that included Travis Mayer, Emiko Torito and Ryan Riley. He spent five years as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's ability mogul coach before the Canadian team approached him with an offer to work as an assistant at the start of the 2002 season.

After the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, Aldighieri was promoted to head moguls coach for the Canadian team.

He continued to live in Steamboat, but it was clear that Aldighieri had found a home north of the border. He traveled to Canada for national team camps and spent his winters on the hill with the Canadian skiers.

Aldighieri said he never gave much thought about being an American coach in a Canadian system.

"At the end of the day, I just wanted to see my skiers succeed," said Aldighieri, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team and a 1992 Olympian. "At some point, you have to embrace your job. My passion to coach made me want to make the Canadian team the best in the world. I always wanted to see the Americans do well, but I also wanted to beat them at the same time. I always wanted to win."

It was that passion that drove Aldighieri and his team during his time as a coach. Although he wasn't able to help a Canadian skier make an Olympic podium (two of his skiers finished fourth), he thinks the team's progress was unmatched in the world of freestyle skiing.

Now that his time in Canada has come to an end, Aldighieri plans to return to his roots with the Winter Sports Club as a volunteer coach.

"I'm really looking forward to working with some of the younger kids at the club," he said. "I know that I still have something to offer."

Aldighieri also plans to work for Prudential Steamboat Realty and operate a training systems company, offering advice and guidance to freestyle skiers looking to get to the next level.

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