Larry Zimmer - Sport Builder - 2013
Larry Zimmer is legendary in the history of Colorado winter sports broadcasting. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, he was the primary sportscaster, journalist, and voice of Colorado ski broadcasting. His work helped to promote the sport of skiing throughout the state, particularly parallel alpine skiing and disabled ski events. Zimmer employed both radio and television media to reach his audience. He hosted regular features on competitive and recreational skiing at a time when only part of the Denver population skied. His use of 50,000-watt microphones at Channel 4 helped build the sport and positioned the state nationally and internationally. A syndicated television series of the Professional Ski Racers Association was produced to ensure that the parallel racing format was kept alive. Zimmer, who understood the importance of parallel events for professional skiing, became the series’ lead commentator from 1977 to 1982.Zimmer’s broadcast coverage of major ski races and events spanned several decades. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, he anchored media coverage of Rocky Mountain Division races, Colorado collegiate races, and internationally known races like the U.S. Alpine Championships, Winter Olympics, World Alpine Ski Championships, and FIS World Cup events. His broadcast of these major ski events helped bring nationwide recognition to the sport of skiing.Throughout Zimmer’s career, he always put emphasis on Colorado skiing. His coverage of the 1979 World Cup included a preview to the 1980 Winter Olympics, centering on Colorado skiers. And during the 1980 Winter Games, he covered ski events on radio with Colorado athletes and judges.A champion for disabled skiing, Zimmer covered disabled ski events statewide. He broadcast the first-ever professional and amateur race at Winter Park in 1970 benefiting the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Zimmer also covered the first international Special Winter Olympics at Steamboat Springs in 1977. Additionally, he anchored syndicated coverage of the World Disabled Championships in 1990 at Winter Park.Whether it was a professional ski race, a collegiate event, disabled ski competitions, or a human-interest sports story, Zimmer was passionate about promoting skiing in Colorado. In addition to being a board member of the Rocky Mountain Ski Writers Association and the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum, he provided outstanding ski journalism and ski racing coverage.It’s impossible to know how many families, athletes, and viewers he touched throughout his media broadcast, but the memorable voice of Larry Zimmer helped move the ski and snowboard industry to where it is today.