2018 Nominees for the Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award:
KLAUS OBERMEYER – Sport Obermeyer
Klaus Obermeyer is the epitome of what the Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award is all about. Born in Oberstaufen, Bavaria, Germany in 1919, he soon fabricated his own skis from an orange crate at the age of 3, beginning his lifetime love of the sport. He emigrated to Aspen, CO in 1947, becoming a ski instructor at Aspen Mountain. Using his experience gained on-mountain, he formed his own company, Sport Obermeyer, to develop clothing and accessories to enhance the experience of skiing and mountain adventure. He created the first down ski parka, using his own down bed comforter as the raw material. Innovations and inventions followed in rapid succession.
Klaus had a hand in pioneering mirrored sunglasses, high altitude suntan lotion, hard-shell ski boots with a soft inner core, turtlenecks and nylon wind shirts. In later years, he came up with double-lens goggles, auto-canting ski boots, soft-shell jackets and breathable fabrics, all the while endeavoring to make a fashion statement for all of his skiwear. At 98 years old, Klaus is an amazing physical specimen as well. He goes to work 5 days a week, swims daily, practices Aikido martial arts, plays tennis and still skis, only making a concession to ski in good weather.
Mr. Obermeyer is a 1997 inductee of the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, 1995 recipient of NASJA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is overdue for our highest honor.
GREG WOZER – Leki North America
Greg Wozer, the founder of Leki North America, has helped to contribute to a diverse skiing, trekking and walking pole market, setting the standard in technology. Leki North America, one of the leading brands in the industry, started from scratch in the mid 1980’s. Leki and Greg have introduced innovation in collapsible poles and its ski pole and glove integration is second to none in the world and has become the standard for safety.
They have also led the way in ski pole systems, with a ski pole that becomes a probe, a shovel and a pole that has a pick on the handle for climbing and self-arrest.
Mr. Wozer is a dedicated family man but has also found time to mentor ski pros with their careers and personal lives for over 2 decades. His company is the unsung hero of the industry and humbly goes about their business, growing year to year which is a huge accomplishment in the winter sports world. He is quite deserving of NASJA’s highest award.