Aspen, CO, Introduces “Spider Sabich Day” in Honor of One of America’s Most Famous Ski Racers

Aunika Skogen | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Spider Sabich
Spider Sabich; image: aspentimes.com

April 8th will be “Spider Sabich Day” in the Aspen Snowmass Village in honor of Spider Sabich. He’s arguably one of America’s most famous ski racers, yet many have never heard of him. 

Born in California, he grew up skiing Edelweiss, just outside of modern-day Sierra-at-Tahoe. Spider demolished the California race circuit and quickly moved his way up to the professional circuit. In 1971, he moved to Aspen to join the USA’s Professional Ski Racing Tour.  

While in Aspen, Spider dedicated his life to the sport. He worked with Bob Beattie to officially establish the professional sport of skiing. This included participating in celebrity ski races to advertise the sport, drum up additional support, and increase the fanbase. 

It was then he met Claudine Longet, an actress and singer. They became the “It” couple between Hollywood and the ski world. A year later, in 1973, she moved up to Aspen to join him. 

Spider Sabich
Spider Sabich and Claudine Longet; image: listennotes.com

Three years later, it was clear the couple’s different preferences of lifestyle had put a strain on their relationship. The “It” couple was falling apart. 

Caught in a web of tension, their relationship finally ended with a bullet straight through Spider’s gut. He was found in the bathroom of his house in Aspen. Claudine claims it was an accident, she was showing the gun to him when it spontaneously went off. Spider bled out and eventually died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Before his death, Spider found many ways to support the budding popularity of professional skiing in the Aspen community. Spider was influential in helping build the sport of professional ski racing in the 70s resulting in many of the amenities still located in Snowmass. His charisma and generosity brought lots of attention to the newfound sport, building the momentum it needed to take off. He appeared in many promotional films as well as spent lots of time serving as a ski pro at Snowmass. 

On March 21st, the Town Mayor declared April 8th “Spider Sabich Day” in Snowmass Village. Not only will his legacy be remembered as a local town holiday, but he will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame for his commitment to the town and the sport of skiing.  

“Spider Sabich shall be held in the highest appreciation by all citizens of Snowmass Village, where he was the brand ambassador, for his lifelong dedication and devotion to Alpine Skiing,” the Mayor’s proclamation stated.

Sabich and Beattie
Spider Sabich and Bob Beattie, both Aspen Hall of Famers; image: aspentimes.com

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