Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Gale "Spider" Spence 1925-1990
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1990
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Gale truly "loved the game beyond the prize". A Colorado native, Gale raced for Colorado University from 1945 to the 1950 FIS Championship in Aspen. From 1951 to 1960 he contributed his time and energy to ski coaching.
Gale coached before it was a paid profession purely for the love of the sport. Volunteering, he coached the Aspen Ski Club, the 1955 and 1956 RMSA Junior National Teams. During the annual National Christmas Camps in Aspen, Gale coached the top US racers for the USSA. He stepped away from his personal commitments and spent long volunteer hours on the race course, coaching numerous well-known racers; several of who are leaders in the sport and industry today. Gale instilled the dream in many young racers and shared his philosophy that skiing is not simply the victories, it is a sport to be enjoyed throughout a lifetime.
With John Oakes, Gale opened Aspen Sports in 1953, where he transferred the philosophy of the sport to business, and defined the standard for "ski specialist". Many young unequipped racers were often quietly outfitted here. Gale's commitment to the sport and to the industry has made a significant contribution to Colorado skiing.