Bud Marolt - 2015
In every sport, there are marquee names that bring attention and glamour to the activity. But when a sport really takes hold and starts to grow from generation to generation, there are people that help others learn and enjoy the experience through their unselfish passion and love of the sport. Such is Geroge “ Bud” Marolt.The eldest of Aspen’s trio of Marolt brothers, Bud has demonstrated that unwavering passion for skiing his entire life. As an athlete, he competed and succeeded at the highest levels, inspiring his brothers’ Max and Bill’s Olympic careers. As director of Loveland’s Ski School, he helped to build the foundation that skiing in Colorado rests on today.Coaches and mentors like Friedl Pfeifer, Roy Ried and Pete Siebert were instrumental in developing Marolt’s skiing talent, helping him to capture the 1950 Junior National downhill crown, along with the Rocky Mountain downhill, slalom and combined championships. That same winter, he would also serve as a forerunner for Aspen’s World Alpine Ski Championships.By the time he was 20, Marolt had received his National Ski Patrol certification, was a member of the U.S. National Ski Team and was named to the 1952 Olympic Team. Unfortunately, Bud would not participate in the Winter Games due to family obligations and the expense at the time as Olympic trips were financed by the individual. However, his racing accomplishments, ski patrol and teaching experience would have a huge impact on his younger brothers’ pursuit of similar glory.Following a move to Denver, Marolt became Ski School supervisor at Loveland under Gordie Wren. Upon being elevated to Ski School director in 1964, he established the first children’s ski school for 3-6 year olds and was instrumental in organizing ski clubs with May D&F, Sears, Montgomery Wards and Gart Brothers, making it possible for up to 2,500 Front Range kids to learn to ski each weekend.As founder of the Loveland Basin Ski Club, Bud created the Loveland Derby in 1960, the largest and oldest amateur ski race in the U.S. and the final USSA sanctioned points event each season, annually drawing up to 600 competitors. Olympians, including Billy Kidd, Spyder Sabich, Sarah Schleper and Mikaela Shiffrin have competed in the Derby in their early careers.In addition to his “regular” job as Ski and Sports Goods Buyer for the Denver Dry Goods Company, he also contributed a series of nationally syndicated newspaper articles under the headline of “Ski America”, while also serving as an advisor to the Rosemont ski boot company.Bud Marolt has made a lifelong contribution to Colorado skiing through the successful introduction of tens of thousands of skiers to the sport, through the hundreds of instructors he has mentored and through his work to document and implement best practices and methodology into ski school programs. His efforts extend through multiple generations and have truly had a major impact on our sport.