Lake Tahoe Ski Club to honor Standteiner | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe Ski Club to honor Standteiner

Alex Close
Sierra Sun

Hans Standteiner could tell stories about skiing for days on end without repeating one.

Sitting and listening to Standteiner and his longtime friend Osvaldo Ancinas tell stories ” most of them not fit for print ” about athletes ranging from early ’60s Italian skiers to Sandy Poulson and Picabo Street as youth racers, it becomes immediately apparent that both men have been living in an elite level of the Alpine ski racing world for decades.

In reality, Standteiner has been coaching the world’s top skiers for nearly half a century. These days, the Austrian native says his coaching is limited to skiing with his grandchildren.

Standteiner will be honored by the Lake Tahoe Ski Club at its annual asado fundraiser, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 19.

The Lake Tahoe Ski Club, now in its 76th year as a winter sports club, has held the asado every year for the last 14 to raise money to help fund local youth skiers aspiring for the highest level.

Ancinas, a board member for the club, said that the foundation ” and the money raised at the asado ” put its efforts not toward racing, but toward the children in the community and the sport of skiing.

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“It’s not so much about the racing,” Ancinas said. “It’s about the sport.”

Both Standteiner and Ancinas, a native of Argentina, remember a time when skiing was much different, much more simple.

“It’s getting a little too serious, and too expensive,” Standteiner said.

In an age where young skiers have a quiver of eight pairs of $1,000 skis, race suits, helmets, poles, gate guards and multiple boots, Standteiner and Ancinas remember when they got their start.

“We just grew up with one pair of skis,” Ancinas said.

The two men laugh at stories of their friends trying to ski parabolics and crashing. They talk about their racing days on 203-centimeter slalom skis and 223 downhillers.

But both men become serious when talking about today’s youngest generation of skiers ” children who jump on a pair of skis and immediately are thrown into a race program.

“First you have to love the sport,” Ancinas said.

The Argentine Olympian said that freeskiing is the key; a youngster must first learn to love the sport of freeskiing, and serious racing will come out of that.

So, the Lake Tahoe Ski Club board member said that he stresses to every youth coach to take his kids freeskiing, to have fun with them and to make sure they are having fun ” otherwise there is no point.

Which is exactly why the club will honor Standteiner, who has influenced countless successful skiers ” including three of his own children who competed with the U.S. Ski team ” throughout a career that spanned five decades.

In that half century, Standteiner not only influenced athletes across the globe, he had a good time doing it.

The 14th annual event is an authentic Argentine lamb Asado barbecue with food from many North Shore restaurants and will feature a giant raffle and silent auction as well as live auction. The event will be held at the Quist residence in Tahoe City and will be attended by past Olympians, National Team skiers and Far West Alpine competitors. In addition to honoring Standteiner, several junior ski racers will receive awards for their 2006/07 achievements. For ticketing information call the Lake Tahoe Ski Club at 581-0260.