December 8, 2017, VAIL, CO – The sixth annual Blue Sky Cup is set take place in Vail, CO on February 10, 2017. The Blue Sky Cup challenges skiers to push themselves on the slopes and raise funds and awareness for rheumatoid arthritis research. Proceeds from the Blue Sky Cup go directly to funding rheumatoid arthritis research through the Arthritis National Research Foundation.
Colorado residents Jim Nollsch and Hayden Fisher founded the Blue Sky Cup six years ago and three years ago they incorporated a charity component to give back and make a difference. The Blue Sky Cup creates a fun and meaningful environment that brings together athletes for a greater purpose.
“Skiing is our passion and we wanted a day where we could share that passion with everyone,” says Hayden, “Unfortunately, it’s not always possible for everyone to join due to their rheumatoid arthritis. So we wanted to do this for those who can’t and make a difference at the same time.”
Co-founder, Jim Nollsch, is a lifelong skier, but often struggles with pain from his rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If it weren’t for the medicines currently available, he probably would not be able to ski today.
“I’m thankful that the medicine I take allows me to continue to do what I love,” says Jim, “But for many people this is not the case and the best way we can help is to support research to find new treatments and a cure.”
The connection to rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t stop with Jim; his father and his grandmother (since deceased) are also afflicted. This deep personal connection to rheumatoid arthritis caused Jim and Hayden to commit the Blue Sky Cup to supporting arthritis research.
An all-day skiing event, the Blue Sky Cup is awarded to the team that logs the most vertical feet in a single day while accomplishing various tasks around the mountain, including a run through Vail’s Epic Race course. Tracking their efforts with the EpicMix app, competitors ski hard all day to log as many vertical feet as they can as a team, trying to break the event record of over 60,000 feet in one day!
New this year is also the Baby Blue event registration, which places more emphasis on fun and activities around the mountain and less on pure vertical feet. The new Baby Blue group is great for families and more novice skiers who want to be involved and help make a difference!
“We started the event to be a celebration of skiing, and while it has some competitive elements, we wanted to focus on creating a great day spent with great friends,” Jima explained. “As we gained momentum, we felt we could build support for a cause that is important to the founders, rheumatoid arthritis.”
With over 1.5 million Americans affected by rheumatoid arthritis, the Blue Sky Cup is committed to giving back to the arthritis community by supporting research to find a cure.
All skiers and snowboarders and families are welcomed and interested participants are encouraged to visit www.blueskycup.ski to watch the event video and for a link to sign up!