Kapala honored by
for promoting Idaho
Express Staff Writer
has spent most of his adult life teaching and promoting Nordic skiing. So
it was fitting that the 43-year-old Sun Valley Nordic Ski Team head coach
was honored Friday for his work, particularly in association with last
Kempthorne announced Kapala’s Outstanding Achievement Award at the
Governor’s Conference on Recreation and Tourism in Nampa. The award is
given for "developing, managing and promoting Idaho’s recreational
resources," according to the governor’s office.
beautiful outdoors and wildlife, our scenic rivers and streams, and the
many recreation opportunities that Idaho offers attract tourists and first
time visitors," Kempthorne said. "But the quality of the
service, the friendly and caring attitudes that they exhibit, and the warm
Idaho hospitality are the reasons that visitors come back. People make the
been the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s head Nordic coach for 15
years. The award was for his efforts the last four years to promote Idaho’s
Nordic skiing facilities on the world’s stage. That effort culminated in
February, immediately before the Olympics, when the world’s top athletes
competed at the Sun Valley Gun Club in the Idaho International.
skiers from throughout the world, Kapala was instrumental in bringing
athletes to train in Sun Valley, including teams from Norway, Sweden,
Canada, Ukraine, Italy, Spain and the United States.
it was sort of this comprehensive effort over the past four years to
promote Idaho through cross-country skiing," Kapala said.
hosted each spring in McCall, Boise and Sun Valley the last four years.
Though they were the result of many people’s work, Kapala had the
A lot of
European teams were interested, because the races enabled them to travel
to and race in the same region as the pending Olympic games. But for
Kapala, it all seems to be a little simpler than organizing world-class
my standpoint, I’m trying to help our kids be better cross-country
skiers, and, in a bigger way, promote the sport of cross-country
skiing," he said.
also recognized Harlan and Barb Opdahl, owners of Triple O Outfitters of
Pierce, with an Outstanding Achievement Award for their efforts to promote
and protect the Idaho portion of the Lewis and Clark Trial. He also
recognized the Opdals for their years of service on the boards of the
Idaho Travel Council and the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association.