Bradley (Brad) Ghent, former US Ski Team coach and FIS race official, lost his 5-year battle with ALS on Saturday, September 3. He succumbed to ALS at his home in Edwards, CO, surrounded by his family. His death comes exactly two weeks after Lindsey Vonn’s mother Lindy Lunn died from complications from ALS.
Brad was born in December 1952 and grew up in Fort Collins, CO. He used to ski and train every weekend at Winter Park and skied for the University of Colorado (‘CU’) from 1972-1975. Brad was part of the first four of eight straight NCAA Championship teams between 1972 and 1975 and was an All-American in 1974. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a Business Degree in 1975 but did not join the family’s automobile business.
Instead, he started working as the director for the Elbert Series before becoming head coach for the Winter Park Race Team in 1977. In 1980, he started working as the Women’s Development Team Coach and later as Head Coach for the US Women’s Ski Team until 1986. It was during this time that he met his wife, Karen. Karen was born in Nevada but moved to Vail at age 17 to join the Ski Club Vail. Brad and Karen were often in the same places training and eventually got to know one another.
The couple got married in 1986 and moved to Brad’s hometown of Fort Collins where they started a family. Brad worked for the family’s automobile business and the couple went on to have three daughters, Erika, Christa, and Abby. Subsequently, the family moved to Eagle County where they started a Dollar Rental Car location at the new Eagle County Regional Airport and later expanded into other automobile business areas.
Brad supported ski racing his entire life and volunteered many hours as a race official. He went on to become a certified FIS Technical Delegate and worked at local as well as World Championship and Olympic races. It is his time as a volunteer that many remember him for. He tirelessly dedicated his time and heart to this sport. He sat on the Board of Trustees for the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail and the Board of the Rocky Mt. Ski Race Officials.
His dedication to ski racing awarded him the Vail Valley Foundation’s Volunteer of the year in 2015 and an induction into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 2018.
He will be remembered by his family and friends as a dedicated and caring man with a great laugh and a passion for the mountains and the outdoors. Brad is survived by his wife Karen, his daughters Erika, Christa, and Abby, his brothers Gregory, Rick, and Bob as well as his three grandchildren. His memorial service will be held at the Ghent family home in Colorado on September 18.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Brad’s honor to the ALS Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter.