Hugh Nevins - Sport Builder / Inspiration - 1994

Hugh Nevins, Colonel U.S. Air Force Retired, has touched and enriched the lives of thousands of blind people since 1975. He developed the non-profit Colorado Ski School for the Blind that year and developed the vital blind skiing technique that has sustained the program ever since. His skiers range from age 4 to 72.  He started with three children. By 1985, enrollment had jumped to 478, and by 1987, over 1,000 people had participated annually.  Students come from all over the country to learn at Vail, Beaver Creek, Ski Loveland and Ski Monarch. Hugh makes “believers” out of his students, telling them they can indeed do anything they set their hearts on. When he was 79, he was still the ultimate unpaid volunteer but has gotten the support of many other tireless volunteers to make the program successful.  During his military career, which started with the Cavalry, then to the Air Force, Hugh was selected as Air Force Project Officer to flight-test air mission in support of the 10th Mountain Division because he not only could fly airplanes, but also combat gliders and ski. (He taught himself to ski on the Ft. Riley, Kansas, golf course.) He air-supplied trooper elements to the Tenth in combat sites of 10,000 to 13,000 foot elevations, west of Leadville under extremely hazardous conditions in 1943. His risky operations proved that operation “Sea Eagle,” the airborne invasion of Norway at less than 4,000 feet by the 10th Mountain Division using gliders, was feasible. Hugh eventually became the world’s most decorated combat glider pilot of World War II.   (Deceased)