Photo Courtesy of Rich LandersThe Gary Silver Lifetime Contribution Award honors an individual, a family or a group of people who have made significant contributions to cross-country in the Spokane area over a period of years.
The annual award was first given in 1989 and has honored thirty-two recipients.
Nominations for the award are sought from anyone in the local cross-country ski community. Nominations should include a description of why the nominee should receive this award. Nominations can be submitted either in hard copy (Spoken Nordic, PO Box 501, Spokane WA, 99210) or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations should include the name of the person doing the nominating (for clarification, more information etc) although the nominator may request to remain anonymous if/when the award is given if they so choose. If you prefer you can use this nomination form.
The Spokane Nordic board will review all nominations and determine this year's recipient through a majority vote. Nominations can be carried over into future years.
If you know of a person who deserves special recognition for his/her contribution to cross-country skiing in the Spokane region, nominate them today!
State Parks Ranger/Manager Steve Christensen received the award in 2014. He's pictured here with some of the past recipients.
This article is based on an interview with Spokesman-Review reporter Rich Landers, and on articles written by Rich at the time of Gary Silver's passing in 1998.
The Gary Silver award is named in honor of Gary Silver, a Spokane resident who died July 8, 1998 after suffering from high-altitude sickness at an elevation of about 23,000 feet while climbing on Gashervrum II in Pakistan.
Gary was an avid climber, Boston Marathon runner, and member of the American Alpine Club, Spokane Mountaineers, Bloomsday Road Runners Club and inland Empire Nordic Club.
"Gary was a spark plug," Rich recalls. "The skiing community was small but already established when Gary turned on to the sport as an offshoot of his love for endurance sports. But Gary had a way of immersing himself in things to which he took an interest. He became very active in the Inland Empire Nordic Club. Perhaps what put him over the top was his commitment to improving ski racing trails at Achilles Ranch, a private area where the first few Langlauf races were held prior to a significant ski trail system at Mount Spokane. Most notably, he bought his own small bulldozer to carve out trails."
Rich continues, "Gary was a motivator -- competitive in a way that made everyone around him try to be better, whether it was ski technique, waxing, eating healthy foods or off-season training."
Photo Courtesy of Rich Landers
Spokane Nordic is committed to creating, developing and delivering programs to foster Nordic skiing
within the greater Spokane Community through efforts of organization, advocacy, and communication.
Spokane Nordic Ski Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
P.O. Box 501, Spokane, WA, 99210