In Good Company

Mike Wolter of the Wood River YMCA introduced honoree Muffy Ritz

Mike Wolter of the Wood River YMCA introduced his good friend, head VAMP and honoree, Muffy Ritz

On Wednesday night, NordicTown USA and Ketchum’s alpine community gathered en masse at Ketchum’s nexStage Theatre to admit six local superstar athletes into the Sun Valley Hall of Fame. The event was sponsored by the Ketchum/Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum and drew hundreds of supporters to celebrate the induction of the Class of 2012: Nordic skiers, coaches and leaders Rick Kapala, Muffy Ritz and Bob Rosso; local ski race hero Picabo Street and both the legendary Bob Smith and Jack Reddish, in memoriam.

The afternoon kicked off at 4 p.m. with treats and beverages and the opportunity to mix, mingle and personally congratulate the four honorees present. The theater was dimmed and dramatic, with spotlights focused on easels displaying the photos and biographies of the inductees. Friends, old and new, gathered to celebrate the mountain lifestyle.

Honoree Rick Kapala joked that he had been "plaqued"

Honoree Rick Kapala, cross-country coach extraordinaire, joked about being on a plaque

Former ski racer, Heritage and Ski Museum board member and one of Ketchum’s sweethearts, Heather Flood Daves, introduced the honorees. “In creating the Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame we thank and acknowledge those individuals who have created an incredible legacy of skiing from which we all benefit,” Daves eloquently said in her introduction. “The Ski Hall of Fame acknowledges people who have touched our community with their examples of athletic prowess, creativity, tenacity and willingness to lead by example. We have the privilege tonight of honoring six people who have impacted our community, the skiing industry and the sports of alpine and Nordic skiing.”

Cheering, hooting and hollering followed as the honorees were introduced and invited to share their thoughts. Everyone expressed a deep love for Sun Valley, gratitude to the community that has supported them and shared a few anecdotes. It was a family affair, and the family was hundreds strong. The most visible and voluble group in the room were members of Muffy Ritz’s VAMPS’ nation. This dedicated, loyal and diverse group of women cross-country skiers have formed a strong community within a community, shaped by the vision and leadership of Ritz.

Other local legends including Chuck Ferries, Dick Dorworth and Lane Monroe – huge names in Sun Valley skiing – participated in the ceremony an introduced and honored the alpine inductees. Picabo Street was surrounded by family, enjoying this wonderful homecoming. During her stay in Ketchum, she plans to give back to her home team, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation by skiing with their U-12 skiers and meeting with the U-16 racers. These young athletes will certainly never forget meeting one of their heroes.

Inductee Bob Rosso arrives for the festivities

Inductee Bob Rosso arrives for the festivities

The community at large thanks all of this year’s inductees who have contributed so much. As we celebrate the Sun Valley Nordic Festival and Sun Valley’s distinction as NordicTown USA and enjoy a truly fabulous alpine season, the timing of this event was another opportunity to be grateful for where we live and for our neighbors.

–RES

The Ketchum/Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum is a wonderful community asset

The Ketchum/Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum is a wonderful community asset