Ricky Mewborn is pictured ski flying back when he still was competing for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Ricky Mewborn/courtesy

Ricky Mewborn is pictured ski flying back when he still was competing for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

A legacy of success: Spotlight on Ricky Mewborn

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— Ricky Mewborn is a familiar face to contractors and builders in the Steamboat Springs area.

As the owner of Nordic Excavating, his phone rings when people need a hole for a foundation, have snow moved from the driveway or want to place a few big rocks along the banks of the Yampa River to improve river flow. But before that, he was representing the United States as one of the top special jumpers in the world.

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Former Olympic ski jumper Ricky Mewborn stands in front of an excavator last week in one of his Steamboat Springs yards.

A legacy of success: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is about a lot more than just producing Olympic-caliber athletes that bring home medals. It’s the story of the more than 20,000 members who have put on the club’s jacket and represented our town around the world for the past 100 years.

Like many of today’s Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club members, Mewborn grew up in the shadow of Howelsen Hill and Steamboat Ski Area. But his adventures grew beyond Steamboat’s small town thanks to the lessons he learned through the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Those lessons helped him earn a spot on the U.S. Ski Team from 1985 to 1989 as a special jumper; they helped him make more than 65 trips to Europe to compete on some of the most famous jumping hills in the world; and they earned him a chance at Olympic glory during the 1988 Games in Calgary.

Looking back, Mewborn said the Winter Sports Club provided him with a path to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Today, he is running a successful business in Steamboat Springs where he is raising his own family and continuing a tradition that took Mewborn around the world. Twelve-year-old Reilly already is following in her father’s footsteps as a member of the Nordic program, and his youngest child Tommy also is skiing with the club.

“I didn’t push my kids into it, but I wanted them to be a part of the Winter Sports Club,” Mewborn said. “It’s a great organization and it’s a big reason it’s so great to grow up in Steamboat Springs.”

He said it’s a place where children gather and form lifelong friendships. Mewborn said it doesn’t matter what winter sports they pursue because the club embraces them all, and that’s one of the reasons it is so strong within the community.

“The Winter Sports Club is a phenomenal organization and is so much a part of what this community is all about,” Mewborn said. “It’s been a part of our town for 100 years, and I think that says something.”

Mewborn also is hoping to make a mark on the community where he has built his business. He learned to operate heavy equipment through a sponsorship at the Twentymile Coal Mine, where his father worked when he was competing on the jump hill. He also worked for local excavators before going out on his own 10 years ago. He named his company Nordic and tipped his hat to the sport he loved with his logo, which features a ski jumper.

Today, he has 18 employees and 30 pieces of equipment ranging from track hoes to skid steers and everything in between. His said his company primarily works in the custom home business but can handle almost any job. His equipment can be found working in the Yampa River on several river improvement projects, and in the winter, he keeps his employees busy removing snow.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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Comments

Tom Wither 9 months ago

Great write up about an outstanding ski jumper and wonderful human being. You were in my Art class way back in like 1984 at S.S.H.S. You were traveling all the time to European ski jumping meets and you always sent me a post card (which I required) from your exotic locations. One time you came home with a bunch of new ski equipment and I got a pair of downhill Elon skis that I paid you something like $100. for. Funny, I still have them 28 years later. You always had a smile on your face and were very humble young man. Congratulations on many successful years of running your own company in Steamboat. Keep up the great traditions with your kids. Regards, Tom Wither

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