Mark Tache - Athlete - 2006
Growing up in Aspen provided the perfect setting for Mark Taché to develop into one of Colorado's premier ski racers and ambassadors. Being in a family that includes a golf pro, several national-caliber skiers and at least two world champion surfers presented a special challenge. For many people, it would have sufficed to become the best athlete in the family; for Mark it was to become one of the best in the world.Named to the U.S. Ski Team in 1978, Mark hit his stride by 1980, when he won the famed Roch Cup downhill in Aspen and North American Series Titles for downhill, GS and overall. The same year Ski Racing Magazine named him Junior Alpine Skier of the Year. Mark represented the U.S. Team for 8 years, competed on the World Cup Circuit and in two FIS World Championships, finally retiring from amateur skiing as the top-ranked American slalom skier in 1985.In 1986, Mark joined the World Pro Ski Tour, where in 1987 he earned top American honors. He won the 1st American Bank Cup in Winter Park, took 2nd in the World Championships and finished 2nd overall for the season in slalom standings. The head-to-head format of pro skiing – as well as the ethics of self-reliance, independence and professionalism – was a good fit for Mark and he raced the Pro Circuit until his retirement from competition in 1992.Throughout his career, Mark never lost touch with the Aspen ski community. He was named Aspen’s Ambassador of Skiing from 1987 to 1991. After his retirement, Mark returned to the Aspen Valley Ski Club as Head Coach and Athletic Director. Whether coaching or mentoring, Mark has shared his experience as an elite athlete, and his passion for excellence. Mark also created a scholarship fund for AVSC and developed community events like the “Gigantissimo,” which is a unique, top-to-bottom, all-comers ski race on Aspen Mountain, and the Taché Pro Am Classic, which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having created a skier-friendly fundraising tool, Mark has also generously offered his Pro-Am format to other non-profits such as the Steadman-Hawkins Foundation.Since 1985, Mark has extended his repertoire to melted snow, helping manage the pro careers of his nephews, Bruce and Andy Irons, two of the world’s top professional surfers. Through his love of sport, and his desire to help everyone experience its joys and challenges, Mark has influenced the next generation by embodying the essence of Colorado skiing.