Park City Ski Team meshing present with past | ParkRecord.com

Park City Ski Team meshing present with past

Christopher Kamrani, Of the Record staff

Bob Marsh, the director of the Park City Ski Team from 1975 to 1996, remembers taking the reins from Jim Gaddis when the organization was still a weekend ski club so long ago.

From a grassroots group of skiers to now one of the most successful alpine ski development associations in the country, the Park City Ski Team is celebrating its storied history today as the second annual Park City Ski Team Alumni Reunion takes place at Park City Mountain Resort.

"I think what it means to people is a reason to celebrate the past successes and to just talk about the old times," Marsh said. "I think everyone knows the rich history this team has in Park City."

On hand today will be a plethora of former Park City Ski Team members, coaches and board members to congregate and reminisce and look toward the future. Former PCST member and current U.S. Alpine Ski Team veteran Ted Ligety will be on hand and the giant slalom superstar will be speaking to youngsters on the team.

"We’re excited to have him," said current Park City Ski Team executive director Jesse Hunt of Ligety’s guest appearance. "He did a great job last year when he came. It was awesome. This is stuff that helps create dreams for the kids. Interacting with him is special."

The festivities will include a team race in dual GS this morning at 10:30 a.m. on lower CB’s Run. The official reunion will take place tonight at the PCMR Legacy Lodge from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Gaddis will be this year’s guest speaker at the banquet.

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"It’ll be interesting," said a laughing Gaddis when asked about his speech. "It’s going to be a mystery, but I have a great interest in Park City racing. Obviously, it’s been exciting for me to see the growth."

Trying to tie everyone back in again was key for Hunt. Also, merging the generations of ski racers intrigues the team’s executive director.

"We’re trying to tap into our history and have that sense of legacy," Hunt said. "This program has lots of that. We are just celebrating what we all love to do, which is skiing."

Hunt said getting this reunion off the ground a year ago was made much easier thanks to social networking; he said the ski team created a Facebook page for a potential alumni reunion and people started flocking to it.

A week after its creation, the site had over 150 friends.

"That did most of the work," Hunt said. "I think it’s very important to have it grow every year."

Hunt added his primary goal is to highlight PCST alumni at these reunions and emphasize the club’s mission statement to current ski team members, which is focused on character and development.

"It would be just a shame to let it go," said Marsh of the rich tradition of the organization. "A lot of people appreciate what this means to them and their kids, as well. This is really a celebration to all (PCST) people. Everyone joins forces again."

According to Hunt, the official birth of the Park City Ski Team was 1972 when the organization began its annual ski swap now in its 38th year and he said seeing people taking the time to fly into town just to participate in an event like this speaks to the deep roots the team has all around the country.

"To get these people recognized, that’s the goal," he said. "Lots of alumni are in this community now and people are traveling from afar to come back and visit. That’s special."

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