Off to the Races with the Audi Ajax Cup

By Tess Weaver Strokes | November 21, 2019 | Lifestyle

The Audi Ajax Cup celebrates 10 years with its biggest bash yet.

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Team Gorsuch flanks its “pro” Chris Davenport at the 2018 Audi Ajax Cup.

As if one needed another reason to attend the season’s most anticipated social event, this year’s Audi Ajax Cup Dec. 30 marks its 10th anniversary and celebrates with what the new host committee promises to be the best après-ski party yet.

“The Ajax Cup hits every aspect of Aspen—skiing, children and community,” says Candice Gorsuch, host committee chair. “It’s not a gala; it’s a family affair that focuses on what Aspen is really about.”

The event, highlighted by a dual Giant Slalom on the face of Aspen Mountain in which teams of six (led by a “pro” like Bode Miller or Chris Davenport) race for the famed Gorsuch Cup, generated around $800,000 in 2018. This year, AVSC aspires to raise $1 million to achieve its mission of offering skiing and snowboarding to every child in the Roaring Fork Valley.

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Ski racer Patrik Järbyn

Erika Souki, Elizabeth Milias and Gorsuch form a new host committee that brings vitality and passion to the event, as well as new partners, like Bumble, the dating app that empowers women. Each has been involved with AVSC for years as a parent, sponsor or National Council member.

“Nearly half of all the kids in AVSC live in Carbondale and farther down the valley,” says Milias. “When they grow up, no child can say they wished they had learned to ski, snowboard, Nordic ski or compete, and couldn’t because their family was unable to afford it. That’s because of AVSC.”

Several years ago, when Souki joined the committee, she helped transform the Audi Ajax Cup from an in-the-know community event into a highly anticipated spectator event during Aspen’s busy holiday week. The tented après-ski always manages to house the dance party of the season, and this year will kick it up with a celebrity DJ. For visitors, the party offers an authentic local experience. For a $500 ticket, Souki says it’s money well spent. For donors and team participants, the Ajax Cup extends into a multiday event including a private dinner for team buyers and team pros. And Bumble app users can access a race viewing platform and select parties throughout the event.



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Photography by: Team photo by Tamara Susa; ski racer photo by Matt Power; all photos courtesy of AVSC