Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Ed Lucks’ passion for skiing is only rivaled by his gift of sharing it with others. Through his willingness to teach, his pioneering techniques, and his experimentation with ski equipment, Ed has brought the freedom and confidence of skiing to thousands of people with disabilities, always stressing abilities not disabilities.
Ed began teaching skiing at Arapahoe Basin in 1964, and it was here that he began his lifelong mission to share the sport he loved with the disabled. Two years later when Arapahoe Basin was hosting Vietnam Veterans and a group from the Children’s Hospital of Denver, the ski school director asked for volunteer ski instructors. At a time when adaptive skiing was just gaining acceptance, no one volunteered. When Ed’s wife, Evie, heard he had not volunteered to help, she quickly changed his mind and Ed found his calling.
In 1969 Ed’s love of skiing and desire to be in the mountains took a dramatic leap forward, he took a job at Crossroads Drugs in Aspen and continued to work as a ski instructor at Buttermilk Mountain and then moved over to Snowmass Village. At first the Aspen Skiing Corporation did not feel an adaptive program was necessary but continued pressure and demands from guests lead them to utilize Ed’s special talents. Thus began over 26 years of teaching the disabled to ski at Snowmass.
Ed practiced skiing on one leg, and skied blindfolded, to see what methods and techniques would work best for his students. If Ed did not like the way a piece of adaptive ski equipment worked, he would spend countless hours modifying it to meet his student’s needs. At a time when there was not much equipment for adaptive skiing, the Luck’s home quickly became an experimental factory for ski gear as Ed went to work producing primitive outriggers or what ever equipment was needed to help his students learn. Many of Ed’s pioneering designs are still in use today. He developed the bend found in many outriggers and is named the Ed Lucks Bend in his honor.
Ed has selflessly shared his knowledge and teaching with instructors and volunteers throughout the world. Who could forget Ed’s four ‘P’, If you will be Persistent, I will be Patient, and together we will Promote your Progress. Through his year’s of hard work, Ed has taught many to ski and helped lay the foundations for both the United States Disabled Ski Team and Challenge Aspen, one of the largest adaptive sports programs in Colorado. His legacy still lives through these organizations.
Ed has touched the lives of many students and helped spread the joy of skiing. To honor Ed on his many years of service, Snowmass Village declared February 16, 1991 Ed Lucks Day. Ed’s contributions to the legacy of Colorado skiing go well beyond the slopes. Through his passion for skiing and his desire to share it, Ed gave his students something more then a ski lesson.