Steamboat Springs Loris Werner, the youngest of three children in a family that helped define skiing in Steamboat Springs, said he was elated to learn he will be inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame this fall.
"It makes me very proud to be recognized and included in a very elite group of individuals who have helped define skiing in our state," Werner said.
Loris becomes the third of the three Werner children to be inducted into the hall of fame. He follows big brother Buddy, who got the nod in 1977, and sister Skeeter Werner Walker, the oldest of the three, who was inducted in 1984. Loris will be the 27th skier with ties to Steamboat Springs to be honored in the hall.
Werner joins fellow inductees Pat O'Donnell, Elli Iselin, John Atkins and Renie Gorsuch. They were hailed as "a group whose contributions have dramatically improved the industry for future generations of snow sports enthusiasts."
Born and raised in Steamboat Springs, skiing has always been a big part of Werner's life. He was only six when he entered the downhill race at the Steamboat Winter Carnival. He attended school at Western State College in Gunnison, where he skied in all four events (downhill, slalom, ski jumping, cross country) and he won the NCAA Skimeister title twice.
Like his brother and sister, he competed in the Winter Olympics. He was an alternate for the ski jumping team in 1964, when the games were held in Innsbruck, Austria. He was a part of the alpine team four years later when the games took place in Grenoble, France. Not only was Loris an accomplished skier, but he also played a vital role in the development of the Steamboat Ski Area. He served as ski school director, mountain manager and vice president of operations.
Werner said his family's success in skiing is linked to a number of factors.
"It was a combination of my upbringing and the great mentors we had at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club at that time," Werner said.
Werner and the other 2007 inductees will be honored both by "Hometown Heroes" receptions this winter in their respective hometowns of Steamboat, Aspen and Vail and at the annual Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Induction Gala on Oct. 27 in Denver.
The black-tie induction gala, scheduled to be held at the Denver Marriott City Center, serves as a major fundraiser for the nonprofit hall. Tickets to the induction gala are $150.