Rick Kapala Receives USSS Russell Wilder Award

Congratulations, Rick!

U.S. Ski & Snowboard honored individuals and organizations for their service to the sport with its final gold and silver level awards. The gold and silver-level awards recognize volunteers and organizations around the country for their service to athletes in a variety of categories, following the acknowledgment of athletes, coaches, and clubs of the year announced earlier.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announcement:
Two recipients were recognized with the Russell Wilder Award for service to youth. Longtime Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation cross-country leader Rick Kapala (Sun Valley, Idaho) and the Youth Sports Alliance (Park City, Utah) were each recognized for their long service to youth. The award is the second oldest from U.S. Ski & Snowboard, dating back to 1955.

Kapala, who is retiring from his role as program director and head coach for cross country at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation after 35 years, was recognized for his work in developing Sun Valley into one of the premier cross country clubs in America. He has long been acknowledged for not only providing youth with opportunities to grow into top, elite athletes, but also building an environment that focuses on being good citizens and good people, as well.

He was cited for his impact on literally thousands of youth and their families in the Wood River Valley. Kapala’s mission has been to develop character in young people and to teach a lifelong respect for the outdoors that goes far beyond sport.

His work also extended well beyond just Sun Valley. He was long been actively engaged in national programs, both as a regular host of events as well as his participation in governance at a national level. His impact has been felt across the Wood River Valley and the entire nation.