Colorado’s best young moguls skiers fly with golden passes
September 12, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It wasn’t quite the last splash of the season, but it was close for two dozen freestyle moguls skiers — a group of the most talented young bumps skiers in the state, who were gathered in Steamboat Springs for an all-star camp.
The athletes were in town as a part of the Colorado Ski Country USA All Star testing event and ramp camp.
"Every year, if you're one of the top 20 or so athletes in Colorado, you're selected for these assessments, and if you pass, you get a gold pass for all of the Colorado ski areas," said Bobby Aldighieri, freestyle moguls director for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
That gold pass makes a big difference for athletes who hope they're on the verge of breaking through in their sport. Those who attended were basically the top in the state who aren't already on the U.S. Ski Team, but athletes who hope to be there soon.
The 2018 Winter Olympics in February may be a long shot, but they could be the names and faces filling the roster for the 2022 and 2026 Olympics.
A gold pass allows them to ski at any resort in the state without buying a ticket, a major help when they spend their winter bouncing back and forth between competitions at ski areas in the region.
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"It saves them a fair amount of money. They don't have to buy a pass at their home mountain or a pass when they go compete anywhere else in the state. It's a big help," Aldighieri said.
The athletes completed a series of physical assessments during one part of Saturday, then spent the rest of the day working on their tricks at the Bald Eagle Lake water ramp just outside Steamboat, getting tips from some of their usual coaches as well as coaches from other parts of the state.
They then spent Sunday working on a community service project, picking up trash along U.S. Highway 40.
"That's a good thing for these kids to do," Aldighieri said. "For a lot of them, it's all about them. They're kids, and that's the way it should be, but it’s important for them to give back."
The gold pass program and physical assessments are fixtures in the summer cycle. The ramp camp was a new addition this year in Steamboat.
The Bald Eagle Lake Ramp will remain open for the rest of the month. Trampolines nearby the lake will be in use even longer, until the first snow threatens this fall.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.