Sunlight shows affection for Casanova |

Sunlight shows affection for Casanova

Heather McGregor

Casanova Glade – it’s steep and gnarly and calling to skiers.

Sunlight Mountain Resort opened the new black diamond ski run under Segundo lift Saturday, naming it for long-time volunteer ski patrolman Tony Casanova.

“We took him down there as part of a training exercise. It was a complete surprise,” said Norm Wheeler, Sunlight patrol director. “Every redcoat on the mountain was there.”

Casanova, a 21-year volunteer member of the Sunlight Ski Patrol, was floored that Sunlight opened the run and named it for him.

After the dedication ceremony at the top of the run, candidate ski patrollers in training under Casanova took their mentor for a run in a sled down Casanova Glade.

“It was wonderful,” said Wheeler, who counts himself as a close friend of Casanova.

The run is under Segundo and to the skier’s left of Peace Pipe.

The run is under Segundo and to the skier’s left of Peace Pipe.

Casanova is living with multiple sclerosis, and has had to leave many of his earlier duties behind. He no longer works as a dentist, and he turned most of the ski patrol training over to other patrollers.

He now serves as the honorary patrol director, and volunteers at Sunlight every Saturday.

“He talks to customers, and he’s an ambassador for the ski area,” Wheeler said. With his contagious laughter, he shows everyone he meets that life is meant for living through a positive attitude.

“He is an example that we all try to follow,” Wheeler added.

Casanova joined the patrol in 1982, and served as the patrol’s secretary and treasurer. Through the 1990s, he served as the patrol’s training director.

“He was our training officer for 10 years. As such, a lot of people on the patrol have been trained by him,” Wheeler said. “The ski area has recognized him for his training.”

Cassanova also helped create the Sunlight Mountain Resort Ski Patrol Team and played an instrumental role in the team’s training.

In 2001, he was honored with the National Ski Patrol Appointment, the highest award given to ski patrollers by their peers.

“Tony brought a tremendous sense of accomplishment to the patrol, and a good sense of humor,” Wheeler said.

“He keeps us on our toes and going all the time.”

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