More than 1,000 African American skiers and snowboarders spent a week of celebrating on the slopes of Snowmass. It was the 40th anniversary of the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS). The Black Ski Summit lasted for an entire week.
Skiers and riders were welcomed by dignitaries in Aspen and Snowmass at a big Opening Ceremony celebration with a torchlight parade and fireworks that could be seen throughout the valley.
“This has been a fantastic and fun week”, said Diana Starks, NBS President. “Our plans were to come to Aspen/Snowmass and enjoy the beautiful terrain and mountain as we celebrated the 40th Anniversary and we are elated with the results that exceed our expectations,” added Starks.
The signature event for the Black Ski Summit is always the “Picnic on the Hill.” The party was held at the top of Snowmass with skiers and riders from 60 NBC chapters, enjoying lunch and dancing in their colorful club jackets and fun costumes.
The Summit is a fundraiser for the National Brotherhood of Skiers. It supports the Olympic Scholarship Fund, which is designed to provide financial support for exceptional athletes of color who excel in winter sports. Many NBS clubs have youth programs that put athletes on track for national competition and development. The intent is to propel these young athletes to Olympic and international competition.
The theme of the anniversary year event was “Celebrate-Reflect-Renew.” Summits are held during odd years. Next year’s mini-summit is in Sun Valley, Idaho.