Invites Community to Celebrate-February 6th-8th

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail “Perspectives”

Vail Daily-December 15, 2014

Preparations began over a year ago for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s (SSCV) Alumni Reunion Weekend; a community-wide celebration taking place February 6-8 during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.  The highlight of the weekend is SSCV’s first Hall of Fame and Wall of Excellence induction.

The Athlete Category includes SSCV alumni from each of the decades of the club’s 52 year history who represented Vail and SSCV as members of the national team or as NCAA All-Americans. The Leader Category recognizes volunteers, staff and community members who worked tirelessly to fulfill the mission of SSCV, provided inspiration and leadership to the kids or advanced snow sports in the Vail Valley.

I am proud to announce this year’s SSCV Hall of Fame and Wall of Excellence nominees in a two part series, starting in my column this week with the Wall of Excellence nominees.   I am also excited to share with you that there remains a long and ever-growing lineage of SSCV athletes and leaders who will share these walls and halls with this inaugural group in the years to come.

SSCV Wall of Excellence-Athlete Category

Rudd Pyles-Knutzen-Rudd was among the first group of Ski Club Vail racers, transitioning to Vail in the early sixties via A-Basin after Climax Ski Area closed.  He was the first SSCV athlete named to the US Ski Team A Team with a specialty in downhill followed by several more exciting years on Bob Beattie’s World Pro Skiing Tour.

Johnny Buxman-Johnny spent his entire youth racing career at Ski Club Vail.  A slalom specialist, he challenged some of the top ski racers in the world, including Phil and Steve Mahre.  Johnny earned US Ski Team A Team status and earned many top World Cup finishes.

Jeff Gorsuch-Jeff grew up in Vail as a member of the Ski Club Vail program.  He was named to the US Ski Team where he competed as a downhill specialist and was also a racer representative on the Ski Club Vail board.  Jeff remains involved in the industry as an executive of Gorsuch Ltd. and serving on the Aspen Valley Ski Club board.

Chad Fleischer-Moving to the Vail Valley from Nebraska, Chad began ski racing at Ski Club Vail and rose to become a member of the US Ski Team A Team. He competed in multiple Olympics and World Championships and earned a World Cup podium.  Chad also served on the SSCV board and started the Chad Fleischer Ski & Tee Scholarship Fundraiser which raised more than a hundred thousand dollars for kids over the span of a decade.

Ali Levy- Ali was the first athlete to make the US Freestyle team while training with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.  She competed on the Nor-Am and World Cup Moguls tour for two years and went on to obtain her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and Masters Degree from BU. She currently lives and works in the Boston area in the sports apparel industry.

Sylvan Ellefson-Sylvan started with SSCV as an alpine racer and added Nordic skiing to his repertoire while at Vail Mountain School, earning the Colorado Skimeister title. An All-American Nordic athlete at Bates College, Sylvan returned to SSCV’s Nordic Team after graduation where he enjoyed multiple World Cup starts and a 2014 US National Championship. Recently retired after his Olympic Team bid, Sylvan now heads the SSCV Nordic Future Stars program.

SSCV Wall of Excellence-Leader Category

Tom Pitcher-While living in Texas, Tom and his family took an unexpected ski vacation in Vail when there turned out to be no snow in Taos.  Loving it, the family spent the next winter here and transitioned to full-time residents the following year. While a pilot for Delta Airlines, Tom’s children ski raced with SSCV and Tom and wife Kay spent every free moment volunteering at the Club.  Whether helping to build the clubhouse, being a race referee or serving as an SSCV Trustee and Board President, Tom’s leadership and commitment left a mark on SSCV.

Pete Seibert Jr.-As an SSCV athlete, parent, Trustee and Board President, Pete has not only experienced but contributed to the forward movement of the Club in many special ways over several generations. His wisdom and direction in facilitating progress in the development of facilities such as the expansion of early season snowmaking at Golden Peak has had a transformative impact on the club and the community.

Larry Benway-Among his many contributions over his years at SSCV as a Trustee and Board President, Larry is responsible for the inception and implementation of the early form of SSCV Winter Tutorial.  The addition of this academic component to the Club has evolved to become today’s groundbreaking Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy

Mike Porter-The day to day leadership, innovation and professionalism that Mike brought to SSCV throughout most of the 1980’s as Executive Director and Head Coach propelled the club to a new level, achieving great strides as an organization and in the development of highly successful national team and collegiate athletes.  Bringing in-depth knowledge of PSIA methodologies and race coaching, coach and athlete development came to the forefront.

Although the Club has evolved a great deal over the past 52 years, our core values of character, courage and commitment have remained steadfast as have the life changing opportunities afforded to the youth of the Vail Valley.  Please join us on February 6, 7 and 8 to celebrate this community legacy.

For details and a schedule of events go to the Alumni tab at, email or call 970-790-5161.  Stay tuned next week to hear about our Hall of Fame Nominees and more Alumni Reunion Weekend details.