Rawlings gets new gig | SteamboatToday.com

Rawlings gets new gig

Resident promoted to head cross-country coach for US Adaptive Ski Team

Luke Graham
Steamboat Springs resident Greg Rawlings sits outside his Old Town home Tuesday. Rawlings was named the head cross-country coach for the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team on Monday. Rawlings said the new job is a great opportunity and that he's going to have fun seeing what he can do as coach.
John F. Russell

— What started out as a way to earn free lift tickets has turned into a career for former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club head cross-country coach Greg Rawlings.

Rawlings, who started teaching adaptive skiing in 1987 in Durango for free lift tickets, was named the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team’s head cross-country coach Monday.

“It ended up being a cheap way of skiing, but I had such a blast with it,” Rawlings said. “Every time I coached I got a ticket. But eventually I’d just go coach all the time because it was so much fun.”

Rawlings owned a bike shop before coming to the Winter Sports Club. In 1999, he left to be a pilot before returning to Aroostook, Maine, to coach again. He moved back to Steamboat and was active in the Steamboat Nordic Council before returning to coaching.

Rawlings already has held a three-day camp with several of the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team athletes and is excited to see where the program can go.

He said his initial goals are to win medals on an international level, organize training camps and race events, and make sure all the team members have everything they need. He also expressed interest in bringing a World Cup event to Steamboat.

“We are thrilled to have Greg join our program as head cross-country coach,” U.S. Adaptive Ski Team Program Director Sandy Metzger said in a release. “With his years of experience in the coaching field, as well as his knowledge of adaptive cross country, he will be an asset in guiding the team to reach great heights.”

Although Rawlings said he never expected to coach at this level, he knew he’d be coaching is some form. He grew up in the Winter Sports Club and always loved skiing. Being able to coach the adaptive athletes is just an added benefit.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I’ve got energy for it. It’s going to be fun to see where we can bring it.”

Rawlings and his team will come together for their first major event Dec. 31 through Jan. 8 at the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. The World Championships take place Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 in Finland.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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