DILLON — Soaking in our Summit County sports history may be just what many of us locals need in an unprecedented time like this.
When we launched the Peak Performers project two months ago, we wanted to honor the greatest athletes and most influential figures in the history of Summit County skiing and snowboarding.
This project would not have been possible without you, the people of Summit County. We received more than 2,000 votes and dozens upon dozens of nominations honoring the greatest Alpine ski, Nordic ski, freestyle ski and snowboard figures in the history of our county. Ultimately, we put more than 40 worthy nominees on a ballot and asked the public to vote.
Most of those votes came from Colorado, though we received votes from as far away as Australia, the United Kingdom, Finland and Alaska.
After the public contributed their votes, the Summit Daily convened a group of seven judges, including longtime leaders, coaches and accomplished athletes in our Summit County community. The judging panel, which we will introduce to you in Friday’s newspaper, included esteemed sporting figures who, for example, founded youth sports clubs, operate the county’s most respected sporting events and have won too many state championships to count.
Despite the unexpected hurdle of social distancing measures due to the new coronavirus pandemic, the judges carved out blocks of time in their busy schedules to meet, discuss and debate virtually. They took into account the feedback of the people of Summit County while also listening to one another’s points and sharing their own sage wisdom.
In the end, the judges assessed the public’s feedback and compared and contrasted the merits of the Peak Performers finalists across the four sporting categories. To decide the final Peak Performers winners, the public vote counted toward nearly one-quarter of the total, with the individual judges’ votes making up the remainder of the score.
It was our goal to honor the eventual four selections to the Mount Rushmore of Summit County skiing and snowboarding, but we also wanted to honor as many important nominees who have contributed to the impressive, ongoing story of the history of Summit County sports.
We’ll honor the winners starting Friday with Alpine skiing, and the other winners will follow in subsequent weeks. We encourage you to visit SummitDaily.com/peakperformers to read up on all the nominees.
Now seems as good a time as ever to bask in and learn about the history of Summit County sports while we all have some free time at home. During this void in live sports, we are excited for Peak Performers to give our community important sports stories to enjoy over the next month. It’s our duty to you.
Summit County is a transient place full of seasonal, part-time residents and visitors. But as we’ve been reminded of in recent weeks, it’s a prideful community of entrenched, interconnected locals, as well. Here’s to all of them who have made this such a special destination for the world’s ski and snowboard communities to come play. Here’s to this project and the stories it tells to inspire the future of Summit County’s sports community.
And, of course, here’s to winter.