Two skiers awarded Rob Mahan scholarship
Two area teens have been selected as recipients of the first Rob Mahan scholarships to become members of the Snowshoe Ski Team.
David Osborn, 12, who attends Tygarts Valley Middle School and Nash Rose, 14, who attends Pocahontas County High School, were awarded the scholarships Monday evening at Silver Creek.
ﾓI thought it would be fun to do something for my mountain and with everybody I know, and do something I love,ﾔ Osborn said.
ﾓI really like to ski, and Iﾒd like to progress in the sport more,ﾔ Rose said.
Osborn has been skiing for six years and Rose, five years.
The scholarship pays for the studentsﾒ memberships and coaching fees. Route 66 Snowboard & Ski Shop sponsored the equipment and the scholarships were sponsored by the ski team parent association and Snowshoe Foundation.
It was named for Rob Mahan, a former ski school instructor at Snowshoe Mountain.
Mahan carved his memory and legendary skills into the mountain every time he took to the slopes.
Former ski school director, and friend of Mahan, Mark Rotellini, remembered the first time he saw Mahan ski.
ﾓWe were out on Cup Run, and it used to have a dog leg to it, and at that time the grooming didnﾒt usually hit all that. Weﾒd get a section of bump in there, and there was always a place we could get a little mogul skiing in,ﾔ Rotellini recalled. ﾓWe were all at the bottom, watching each other take a few runs, and here comes this young kid that worked at the desk. Next thing you know, he snaked down all these little bumps that all the guys were having a little problem with, and I said ﾑwow, who is that guy?ﾒ It was Rob Mahan.ﾔ
Mahan moved to Snowshoe from Ashland, Kentucky and soon became Rotelliniﾒs ﾓright-hand-manﾔ on the mountain.
ﾓI came here tonight to talk a little about inspiration,ﾔ Rotellini said. ﾓWe get inspiration from a lot of places. We get inspirations from our creator and from a person who inspires us to find them. Robﾒs one of those people to me, because he worked really hard at his craft, and not only was he really dedicated to working hard at his craft, he was dedicated to being a professional in the field and dedicated to sharing that information with anybody he possibly could.ﾔ
Mahan soon moved on from Snowshoe to bigger mountains out west, but he will always been a part of Snowshoeﾒs history.
Three years ago, Mahan was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Although most people succumb to the disease after 24 months, Mahan is still alive and well, and honored to be part of the ski team scholarship.
ﾓWhen Alisa [Colpitts, director of Snowshoe ski team] approached me about putting Robﾒs name onto this scholarship, it was another reason why Rob has inspired me, because he said ﾑthatﾒs really cool,ﾒﾔ Rotellini said. ﾓHis parents and his brother were excited about it, so I commend you folks for doing this.ﾔ
Another former ski school instructor, Mark Poore, spoke about his memories of working with Mahan, as well.
ﾓIn 1987, a young man, 18-years-old, came from Ashland Kentucky. He wanted to teach skiing at Snowshoe, and he couldnﾒt quite cut the mustard,ﾔ Poore said. ﾓHis skiing wasnﾒt up to the level that we were looking for, so they offered him a job at the ski school desk, and they said ﾑget the skill level up and you can start teaching.ﾒ In a very short time, they had to find a replacement at the desk. That was Rob Mahan.ﾔ
Poore said Mahan was a natural and constantly improved his skiing talents.
ﾓWe did a little clinic and then boom, heﾒs one second ahead of me, and I donﾒt think I ever beat him again,ﾔ Poore said.
As he spoke to the scholarship recipients, Poore told them to carry on the tradition of passionate skiers.
ﾓWe share a love and a passion for the sport of skiing,ﾔ he said. ﾓI know Rob would be proud of this generation of skiers and would love to be here, to share his knowledge of skiing with you and make runs with you.ﾔ
Snowshoe Chief Operations Officer Frank DeBerry said the passion that skiers have for the craft carries on from generation to generation, and that the new class of skiers exemplify what Rob Mahan stood for.
ﾓWhen you guys take it to that level of participating in the team, Iﾒve never seen tighter family units on the mountain than the ski team,ﾔ DeBerry said. ﾓIﾒm sure that Robﾒs quite proud of having the chance of putting his name to something that invites more people into that. On behalf of the mountain, I just want to say thanks to all of you guys for your commitment to the mountain and congratulations to the winners.ﾔ
The Snowshoe ski team currently consists of around 40 members, from ages six to 17. For more information on the team and how to become a member, visit www.snowshoeskiteam.com.