Rider, 93, enjoys day in the Sun(light)
NBC’s Kevin Tibbles was under pressure Wednesday afternoon at Sunlight Mountain Resort. The “Nightly News” and “Today” corespondent sat at a table on Sunlight’s deck across from Julian Vogt, Glenwood Springs’ 93-year-old snowboarder. Tibbles had flown in from Chicago a few hours before for an interview and snowboard lesson with Vogt for an upcoming segment on the “Today” show.
The “Today” crew’s arrival spread through the Roaring Fork Valley earlier in the week, and Vogt’s family and friends, curiosity seekers, a group of Glenwood Springs Middle School film students, and local reporters gathered to eavesdrop. “Did you buy your tickets?” Tibbles joked to the crowd as he began the interview. The crowd hadn’t bought tickets, but was anxious to get a glimpse of Tibbles, who’s worked from Baghdad to Bangkok for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and won an Overseas Press Club Award and an Emmy.The real star of the day, though, was Vogt. Vogt joked before the filming began that the snowboarding would go poorly no matter what. He’d fall if he were nervous, and he’d fall if he were cocky.
But by the time Vogt sat down with Tibbles for an interview Vogt was his typical charming self. “Have you lived a full life?” Tibbles asked. “Yeah, mostly. I could have filled in some corners,” Vogt answered.”You’re not done yet?”
“Oh, (in) another 20 years or so.” Everyone, it seemed, was in awe of Vogt.”This guy is just incredible,” said Joe Llewellyn, a friend of Vogt’s from when they were both on Sunlight’s ski patrol. Llewellyn snapped pictures of Vogt as Tibbles strapped in for his first-ever snowboard lesson.”Good stories are always driven by good characters, and this fellow certainly fits that bill,” Tibbles said. “Today” learned about Vogt after a staffer read an article about him in the Vail Daily, Collins said. That article originally ran in the Post Independent Jan. 30.
Despite the hoopla and nerves, shooting for a national TV show was not entirely new for Vogt. Fox News did a story on him in 2000, which Vogt never saw, but he heard that ABC bought it and ran it on “Good Morning America.” That’s not to say Vogt wasn’t excited. He sounded giddy Tuesday evening after spending the day swimming laps at the Hot Springs Pool, inline skating, and talking about his foreign service career for the camera. He also spent four days preparing for the interview, said Vogt’s son, Michael, who attended the shoot with Vogt’s wife, Anne.
With a segment all to himself on “Today,” Vogt could get a big head. “Oh yeah, I’m hurting my helmet,” Vogt joked. Not to worry: “Next week he’ll be back to normal,” Michael said. The biggest challenge of the day, though, was not quieting ski boots stomping on the deck during filming, or teaching a rookie to get into his bindings, it was figuring out where Vogt would go next. “What’s he going to do next year, and the year after that?” Michael asked.
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