Ski season winding down, long time instructor honored

Big honor for local ski instructor

BLOWING ROCK, NC (WBTV) - It was bound to happen sooner or later and this year, insofar as the ski industry, later is the key word.

All ski areas are still open as Spring begins on Wednesday but the season is still drawing to a close. Appalachian Ski Mountain has plenty of snow in the slopes but had already set this Sunday as the closing day and they plan to stick with it.

The season did not set records but was strong say officials. There was enough cold weather to make snow from November until now. As the season winds down, the Professional Ski Instructors of America came to Appalachian Ski Resort to honor the man who started the French Swiss Ski College 50 years ago.

Jim Cottrell is known industry wide for his efforts in teaching techniques. More than a million people have taken lessons through the school he started. In addition, he developed techniques to teach Special Olympians. The PSIA gave Cottrell a certificate of recognition for his work in promoting the “Ski Culture” throughout the southeast. It’s only the 6th time the award has ever been given out.

Cottrell got the award at a surprise afternoon reception. He told WBTV that of everything he has done in skiing he is most proud of his work in the teaching methods for the Special Olympians.

“It’s a system that we developed right here in 1977 and is still used worldwide today,” he said. As to what he is looking forward to next? Next year’s ski season, he said. “My work is not done yet.”

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