Ms. Suzy Chaffee
Native Voices Foundation
Woody Creek, Co.
March 12, 2001
Billy Kidd (cowboy hat) and Steamboat Resort President Chris Diamond (second from right) skiing with their "Ute Future Olympians" and Suzy in front of their tipi
Here at Steamboat we've gotten off to a great start with the Future Olympians ski and snowboard program for Native American youth. This season and last, Steamboat hosted four groups of Ute youth from Ft. Duchesne, Utah, for weekend trips to Steamboat and the Yampa Valley. The pre-teens soon gained confidence and self-esteem learning a new skill. In addition to the broad experience of traveling,
getting along with others, and exercising outdoors, there were small lessons learned too. One young man's mother remarked that her son "never" ate breakfast until he stayed at Billy Kidd's house. Billy showed him how to make an omelet. Now, Coleman makes eggs or cereal before school every day, and I'm buying sprouts for him to put in eggs. I didn't know what a sprout was! Since establishing healthy lifestyle habits in youngsters is important, even this minor change in Coleman's routine might make a difference in how he faces future challenges.
The Future Olympians program has enjoyed enthusiastic support from the Steamboat community, ranging from local families who host the groups overnight, to Holy Name Catholic Church, CityMarket, Pizza Hut, Catamount Ranch & Club, Storm Mountain Ranch, Yampatika and Ute youngsters, simply spending a weekend away in an exciting new place is a "bonus". Teachers and staff from the Ft. Duchesne Health Service offer the trips "as rewards for good behavior and for making as effort at school" notes Mike Brand,
director of the Indian Wellness Center. "Even young Native Americans can be prone to diabetes, so exercise and healthy eating are prime goals for the program. But," chuckles Mike, "don't tell the kids that. They just want to have fun!"
All of us at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation hope that the success of our Future Olympians program will stimulate other resorts and towns to host Native American youth for ski and snowboarding experiences.
Congratulations on all your efforts through the Native Voices Foundation. If we may be of further help in spreading the word, please let us know.
Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation
2305 Mt. Werner Circle
Steamboat, CO 80487