Aspen ski racer Wiley Maple is hoping to race in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi with a little help from his friends in the valley.
The Aspen High School grad and U.S. Ski Team member is aiming to become the first Aspenite to compete on the World Cup downhill circuit in over a decade. But staying on the team and traveling expenses cost about $35,000 per year for athletes. So, Olympic hopefuls like Maple have to fundraise personally to represent the nation.
So if you want to cheer on a local skier in the downhill at this year’s Olympics, a fundraiser this weekend is a perfect opportunity to help. On Friday, Nov. 22, Belly Up hosts an event for Maple that includes a premiere of the new ski movie, “Winter,” a reception and a silent auction. The film is co-produced by Aspenite Mike Marolt, and auction items will include ski gear and gift certificates from local restaurants.
Maple is healthy going into this ski season, and training at Copper Mountain. But he’s coming off of a knee injury that sidelined him last year.
“I think I have the skills and motivation to race World Cup full time and maybe see the podium if I can,” Maple said in an Aspen Daily News profile last year. “But it’s a sport that’s always changing and injury impacts your performance.”
The silent auction and reception starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Belly Up. The film is scheduled to start at 6:30. Admission is $15. Tickets and more information at www.bellyupaspen.com