World Cups expected to return Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

World Cups expected to return Steamboat Springs

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in 2004.

Still, Executive Director Rick DeVos felt as though the winter lacked something important.

“It has been our goal to bring a World Cup back to Steamboat,” DeVos said. “It was a great year, but we couldn’t help but feel like we were missing something.”

It was the first time in a decade that Steamboat didn’t host the world in one discipline or another. But if things go as planned, Ski Town USA should fill that void next winter.

Steamboat is being considered to host a Nordic combined World Cup B event in December and a Disabled Alpine World Cup in January.

The United States Ski Association officially hasn’t awarded either World Cup, but DeVos is confident that Steamboat will be the top choice to host both events next winter.

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Steamboat is a natural for the Nordic combined World Cup B stop. The town is home to one of the strongest Nordic traditions anywhere in the country and has hosted eight World Cup A events since December 1994. This would be Steamboat’s second World Cup B in the past three years.

He also is confident that the Disabled World Cup would be successful because of the character demonstrated by the skiers who compete in that event.

“The athletes in that group are really up against high odds in life,” DeVos said. “I think the community of Steamboat will come out to watch these skiers do what they do, at the level they do it.”

DeVos said the skiers on the Disabled World Cup display a love for skiing that fits in well with what he is trying to teach at the club. It also fits the values that are important in Steamboat. “They go out every race and do everything they can to be the best they can be despite their circumstances,” DeVos said.

Winter Sports Club Alpine Director Tony Nunnikhoven said the U.S. Ski Team approached him about hosting the disabled event last year. It would be the first World Cup Alpine event of any kind to take place in Steamboat since December 1992 when the Steamboat Ski Area hosted a pair of women’s World Cup events.

Disabled Alpine coach Kevin Jardine approached the Winter Sports Club about hosting an event.

“I think they are interested in Steamboat because of this town’s reputation for holding world-class events,” Nunnikhoven said. “We are excited to have them consider us. I think it will be a great event for the club and everyone here in Steamboat.”

The real challenge might come in covering the cost of the two international events. The price tag for World Cup B is expected to be about $30,000. Organizer Kathi Meyer said the city offered its support for the event with $15,000. The rest would need to be raised by the community through donations and in-kind services.

The Disabled World Cup is expected to cost $100,000. However, because it is a full-fledged World Cup event, a substantial amount of money will come from the U.S. Ski Team and other outside sources.

The official World Cup schedules are to be released after the U.S. Ski Team’s annual spring meeting next month.

— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com