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Ski Affair to honor Olympians, Deer Valley exec

Last year, the annual Ski Affair, benefiting the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library’s Ski Archives, honored Parkites Sarah Hendrickson and Ted Ligety for winning World Championships gold medals in 2013.

This year, at the 24th annual Ski Affair on Nov. 5 at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, a slew of 2014 Olympic and Paralympic medalists will be honored for their performances at the Sochi Winter Games.

"Every four years, we honor the Olympians and Paralympians in the Intermountain area (Utah, Idaho and Wyoming) that are awarded medals in the Winter Olympics," said Barbara Yamada, the chair of the 40-member advisory board for the Ski Affair.

This year’s honorees include Park City residents Sage Kotsenburg (Olympic slopestyle snowboarding gold medalist), Ted Ligety (Olympic giant slalom gold medalist), Joss Christensen (Olympic slopestyle skiing gold medalist) and Rob and Danelle Umstead (Paralympic super combined bronze medalists).

Also among those athletes being honored are Kaitlyn Farrington of Bellevue, Idaho (Olympic halfpipe snowboarding gold medalist) and Keith Gabel of Ogden (Paralympic snowboardcross bronze medalist).

"We’ll have five of those seven athletes in attendance," Yamada said. "Sage Kotsenburg and Ted Ligety won’t be able to come, but the others will be there and we’re very excited about that."

The Ski Affair begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour and a silent auction, Yamada said. Then, at 7:15 p.m., dinner begins.

"We have this wonderful buffet put on by the Little America Hotel," she said. "It’s a German Oktoberfest theme, but it’ll be more than just bratwursts and sausages. There’s a pork loin roast, sauerbraten, all the good German food.

"Then, at 8:15 p.m., we start our program. Tom Kelly is our emcee. At that time, we’ll be honoring Bob Wheaton with the Quinney Award."

Wheaton, the president and general manager of Deer Valley, will join Alf Engen, Spencer F. Eccles, Nick Badami, Stein Eriksen and many others as a recipient of the S. Joseph Quinney Award, given to an individual or organization that "has exhibited the same public-spirited attributes and contributions to winter sports as its namesake."

"[Wheaton]’s been so involved, being the general manager and president of Deer Valley, a resort rated as one of the best in North America several years in a row," Yamada said. "What he’s done for skiing in Utah certainly makes him well-deserving of this award."

All the proceeds from Wednesday’s event benefit the Ski Archives. The Ski Affair is the organization’s only fundraiser of the year, Yamada said.

"We are probably the most affordable fundraiser, too," she added. "It’s $70 per person and we do have a reserved table for 10 people at $1,500."

Tickets are still available by calling Judy Jarrow at 801-581-3421 or emailing judy.jarrow@utah.edu .

"We also have an opportunity drawing," Yamada added. "It’s $20 a ticket and it’s for a ski adventure for four people. You get a Park City Powder Cats ski day and a ski boots and binding package from Rossignol for four people."

Yamada said the Ski Archives are a great resource for anyone looking to learn about the history of winter sports in the Intermountain area and encourages everyone to support the organization.

"The Ski Archives were established in 1989," she said. "Since that time, we’ve had thousands of photos, books and other single-dimension items that we document. We have films, too it’s quite a collection of ski history."

Though all of the Ski Archives’ collections won’t be on display at the Little America Hotel, Yamada said there will be plenty available to entertain guests.

"We have some great videos we’ll be showing, too," she said. "It will be a fun evening."


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