Celebrities and Pros Descend on Park City for 2014 Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest

Written by Scott Cullins
Deer Valley kicked off it 2015-15 season today with the 23rd annual Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest, where former U.S. Ski Team athletes coached teams of celebrities—and other connected folks—in an effort to raise money for Waterkeeper Alliance.

This was my first time covering the event and I was pleasantly surprised at how humble and approachable the Hollywood stars were. Perhaps, when hanging out at arguable the worlds best ski resort with some of the worlds best skiers, a humble attitude is the only option. Not to say that any of the celebrities in attendance have attitudes at sea level—I’m sure they are all great people.

Like Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, who told me how happy his four children were that he was cast in the upcoming tween thriller Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. Esposito was training with Dr. Joyce Bassett, a dentist from Scottsdale. Bassett shyly admitted she wasn’t a star, but a huge supporter of Waterkeeper Alliance. No worries. Both were having a great time, hanging out in the 45°F temperatures on the mountain.


HERE: Giancarlo Esposito and Joyce Bassett. PREVIOUS PHOTO: Left to right: U.S. ski racing legend Phil Mahre, comedian and actress Rachael Harris, musician Christian Hebel, U.S. ski racing legend Steve Mahre, actress Cheryl Hines, Waterkeeper Alliance’s Bobby Kennedy and former Austrian ski team athlete Klaus Heidegger take a break after the first heat. Photos © 2014 Scott Cullins

When the race got started, it was clear why these Hollywood stars were so humble. In the very first race, three-time Olympian Heidi Volker faced off against three-time Olympian Phil Maher for a very exciting heat. It has been years since these two retired from World Cup racing, but both demonstrated that their competitive natures were alive and kicking.


Phil Maher and Heidi Volker dive at the finish. © 2014 Scott Cullins

As Volker dove for the finish line, she couldn’t quite check her speed and plowed into the safety barrier. While the dive resulted in the narrowest of victories for Volker, Maher would have his revenge. After Volker’s initial impact into the barrier, Maher dove on his old friend and they both crashed completely through the barrier.

Volker's initial impact was not enough for Maher, who subsequently dove on her and both crashed completely through. © 2014 Scott Cullins

Maher gets the best of Volker, by pushing her completely through the barrier.

Voelker would, however, have the last laugh. Here team went on to win the competition that day.

The other two team captains experienced a very close race as well, with Tommy Moe narrowly beating out Steve Maher in their heat. Maher jokingly questioned the results, however, swearing he looked over as they crossed the finish line and saw that he had actually won the race. When the times were announced, Moe had beaten Maher by five one-hundreths of a second.

Tommy Moe and Steve Maher.

Tommy Moe and Steve Maher. © 2014 Scott Cullins

Park City had some local representation in the competition as well. Mayor Jack Thomas demonstrated how well you can ski when you live right next to three world-class ski resorts resorts.

Park City Mayor Jack Thomas is flanked by city council members Andy Beerman (left) and Tim Henney (right).

Park City Mayor Jack Thomas is flanked by city council members Andy Beerman (left) and Tim Henney (right). © 2014 Scott Cullins

All in all, the event was a great way to kick off another season at Deer Valley. For more photos from the event, visit our photo gallery of the event.

Scott Cullins is a writer, photographer, art director and principle at Canyon Media. Cullins also works for JES Publishing, based in Salt lake City.




About the author

Scott Cullins

Scott moved from Teton Valley, Idaho to Utah in 2011. Scott is publisher of wasatchrider.com, Wasatch Rider magazine and the Teton Valley WYDAHO Outdoor Guide and Map. Scott is also a media and marketing consultant, mountain biker, skier, and singer songwriter. Email Scott at scott@canyonmedia.us

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