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Last Chair

Last Chair: Out on Top

After nearly 20 years leading the U.S. Ski Team, Bill Marolt will retire following the Sochi Olympics. "Best in the World" remains his mantra—and, he hopes, his legacy.

SKI » soon after taking over, you set a lofty goal: to become “best in the world.” There were doubters—and a few snickers—but not anymore. What worked?

B.M. » When I started, we didn’t have a core direction. Were we an event company? Sales- focused? A fundraising organization? What we are now is an organization about kids—about young people with aspirations. In order to pursue “best in the world,” you have to remain completely focused on that vision at all times.

Standing Tall

Standing Tall
Roy Tuscany
After a park crash, Roy Tuscany was wheeled into a hospital as a paraplegic. He walked out. The experience led him to launch High Fives to help injured athletes. He hasn’t stopped moving since.

SKI » How did you get injured?

R.T. » In 2006, I was a coach with the Sugar Bowl Academy, and we were in Mammoth.
I made a mistake that morning and didn’t do a speed check. I ended up overshooting a feature and coming down from 30 feet in the air. The impact felt as if my hips went through my shoulders. The crash resulted in a T-12 burst fracture, causing me to be incompletely paralyzed from the belly button down.

Last Chair: Strength and Beauty

Last Chair: Strength and Beauty
Sierra Quitiquit main
Starring in two new ski movies this season, pro skier Sierra Quitiquit is the hottest girl in the industry right now. She’s also, well, just plain hot.

SKI » You grew up racing. Why did you stop? 

S.Q. » I tomahawked into a snow gun. I broke my femur, arm, and ribs. I was 12. My parents were like, “Where are we going to find $150K for surgeries when we’re already eating rice?”

SKI » You didn’t have health insurance?

S.Q. » My parents were very nontraditional.

SKI » Your brother died in a car accident when you were 15. How did you that affect you?

Last Chair: Still Taking Flight

Last Chair: Still Taking Flight
Benny Wilson
After helping to tear down skiing's strict boundary regulations with the founding of the Jackson Hole Air Force, Benny Wilson asks the new young guns, what's the rush?

Benny Wilson helped found the Jackson Hole Air Force in the ’80s, bringing together a loose confederacy of rope-ducking, patrol-provoking alpine outlaws. They challenged Jackson, and other resorts, to open their boundaries in the late ’90s. Wilson now teaches new generations of Jackson riders. Here's what he has to say.

Jackson’s boundaries were officially opened in December 1998. Did that feel like a victory? 

Last Chair: Tim Petrick

K2's leader talks ski prices, buying mistakes, and the future of skiing.

What’s the most common mistake consumers make when buying skis?

Last Chair: Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia
Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia
As founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard taught people how to enjoy the great outdoors. Now he's trying to teach the world how to save the planet.

Patagonia has been thriving despite the recent recession. How?

In a recession people become very conservative. They stop buying fashion. They stop buying things that they’ll throw away in a couple months, or a couple years. They don’t mind paying more for something that will last a long time, and they buy multi-functional clothes. Instead of buying a ski jacket that will sit in a closet ten months a year they’ll buy one of our shells that can be used for climbing or skiing or on top of a suit coat in a rainstorm in the city.

Last Chair: Salomon's Bertrand Krafft

Bertrand Krafft
BBR photo
Ski designer Bertrand Krafft’s singular mission? Have a blast—and take you along for the ride.

Shape-shifter Bertrand Krafft, alpine ski developer for Salomon, lives near Chamonix, but brings a surfer’s soul to the snow. The creator of several pioneering ski designs, Krafft (aka “Beber”) has an eponymous ski launching this season, the BBR.

SKI › You created the X Scream and twin-tip Pocket Rocket, both of which challenged design conventions—and sold well. Now you’re launching the V-shaped BBR. What inspired it?

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