Winter Park Hosts Disabled Skiers, Broncos Alumni

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Winter Park, CO, Feb. 11, 2001--The 26th annual Wells Fargo Bank Cup returned to Winter Park this weekend bringing Colorado Governor Bill Owens, top disabled ski racers, Denver Broncos alumni and amateur skiers of all abilities together for a racing event that is the largest fundraiser of the year for the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

Blind skier Andy Parr of Rockland, Maine, took home the largest purse on the disabled racing circuit by winning the Wells Fargo Bank Cup's professional disabled ski race Sunday afternoon. Parr is one of the newest members of the top-ranked U.S. Disabled Ski Team. He races with a guide, David Marchi of Mt. Shasta, Calif. The race, which included three jumps on parallel courses, drew the world's best male disabled ski racers. National team members from Slovakia, South Africa, Australia and the top-ranked U.S. Disabled Ski Team competed. Skier Michael Milton of Canberra, Australia, placed second; U.S. Disabled Ski Team members Adam Fromma of Fraser, CO third; and Greg Mannino of Eagle, CO, fourth.

Former Denver Broncos players tackled the slopes at the Wells Fargo Bank Cup, too. On Sunday morning, Broncos legends like Karl Mecklenburg, Reggie Rivers and Billy Thompson traded their cleats for skis and snowboards to join up-and-coming disabled athletes on the slopes. Former football players Dave Preston, John Grant and Billy Thompson along with their disabled teammates, Hannah Pennington of Denver and Brad Washburn of Highlands Ranch, took first place in the event. Pennington has cerebral palsy and Washburn is a below-the-knee amputee.

Even Colorado Governor Bill Owens was involved in the Wells Fargo Bank Cup, rallying twenty-seven teams of amateurs before they took to the slopes for the event's pro-am race Saturday. Each pro-am team was anchored by a professional disabled ski racer.

The 26th Annual Wells Fargo Bank Cup is expected to raise about $270,000 for the National Sports Center for the Disabled. The NSCD is an innovative non-profit organization that provides year-round therapeutic recreation and competitive opportunities for children and adults with disabilities. What began in 1970 as a one-time ski lesson for 23 children with amputations has evolved into the largest and most successful program of its kind in the world, teaching 25,000 lessons annually to disabled children and adults.

26th Annual Wells Fargo Bank Cup Denver Broncos Alumni Challenge Winners

First place team
Hannah Pennington of Denver, cerebral palsy, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team
Brad Washburn of Highlands Ranch, below-the-knee amputee, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team
Dave Preston, 1,793 career rushing yards in his Broncos career from 1978 through 1982
John Grant, played every defensive line position in his career, 1973-1979
Billy Thompson, member of the Broncos' Ring of Fame after 13 seasons, 1969-1981

Second place team
Sandy Dukat of Chicago, above-the-knee amputee, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team
Barry Cardno of New Zealand, paraplegic, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team
Kevin Clark, Broncos defensive back and punt and kick returner, 1987-1991
Eric Crabtree, led the Broncos in catches in his final two years, played 1966-1968
Karl Mecklenburg, all-pro linebacker who will be inducted into the Ring of Fame next fall

Other participants:
Jim Jensen
Rich Karlis
Reggie Rivers
Leroy Mitchell
Wade Manning
Jim Ryan
Roger Lee of California, paraplegic, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team
Ashley Hovey of Evergreen, spina bifida, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team
Allison Jones of Colorado Springs, above-the-knee amputee, U.S. Disabled Ski Team
Allison Pearl of Nevada, incomplete paraplegic, Winter Park Disabled Ski Team


15. Winter Park, CO

Winter Park

Mary Jane—named for a mining-era lady of the night—and its sister area, Winter Park, offer plenty of prospects for good skiing, including bumps and powder-filled bowls. Forming one of the closest major resorts to Denver, the two areas spread across five mountains and 3,078 acres. Add 3,060 feet of vertical, 30 feet of snowfall, and a direct train from Denver and it’s no wonder why the Front Range packs the place on Saturdays.