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Olympian, Coach Jim "Moose" Barrows Passes Away

By Courtney Harkins
July, 10 2024
jimmy barrows
Jim "Moose" Barrows flies through the air in the 1968 Olympic Winter Games before crashing to fame and a helicopter ride to the hospital. (Getty Images)

Steamboat Springs and U.S. Ski Team legend Jim "Moose" Barrows passed away on June 28, 2024 at 80 years old after a long battle with cancer.  

He was born on April 25, 1944 in Los Angeles, California and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado with his family and two brothers in 1950. He began skiing for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, coached by Olympian Gordy Wren, where he excelled at both ski jumping and alpine skiing. 

He enrolled in the University of Colorado in 1982, coached by famed CU and U.S. Ski Team coach Bob Beattie, becoming an NCAA four-way contender and champion. Beattie gave him the name "Moose," named for both Barrows' attitude and large stature. Barrows lettered three times and became one of the nation's premier four-event skiers in both alpine and nordic events. 

Barrows joined the U.S. Ski Team in 1960 and competed in the first ever World Cup downhill in the United States at New Hampshire's Cannon Mountain in 1967, landing on the podium in third. He ended the season placed seventh in the FIS downhill rankings and qualified for the 1968 Olympic team. While he raced in the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, he did not finish, having a spectacular crash that has lived on in infamy.

After retiring from the U.S. Ski Team, he skied on the pro circuit in the 1970s before coaching for the U.S. Ski Team men's downhill team. He also taught a course on the history of skiing at Steamboat's Colorado Mountain College and was eventually inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1996.

Apart from skiing, he had a passion for flying, golfing, playing poker and working on his Yampa Valley ranch, dubbed JASDIP (Just Another Sh*tty Day in Paradise). Moose's legacy lives on through the Moose's Loose Golf Tournament, which he started in 1984 to support the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club scholarship fund, helping to fund young competitive skiers and snowboarders.