Lift Lines: Boyd Billings
The World Cup men’s ski races at Aspen Mountain this weekend filled the grandstands near the finish line with a colorful sea of fans.
Among the flags and cowbells and ski sweaters, it might have been hard to pick out any one face from the crowd — with one notable exception.
Born-and-raised Aspenite Boyd Billings was easy to spot at the downhill races: He painted his face red, white and blue, donned a red and white ski suit and carried one long, bright red racing ski just about everywhere he went. He considers himself a “big fan” of World Cup ski races, evidenced this weekend by his patriotic ensemble.
“Aspen is skiing, skiing is Aspen,” he said from an interview in the grandstands near the finish line on March 3. “It’s everything.”
These days, though, Billings says he’s more of a race spectator than a competitor.
“Wish I could be up there with them,” he said. “But since I’m 65 years old now, I don’t downhill much any more — only in my mind."
Billings still skis plenty for fun, though. And you might recognize his first name from one sign on Aspen Mountain.
He’s the one who builds the “Boyd’s Bump” jump on the Ridge of Bell run, where skiers and snowboarders launch into the air as an end-of-season tradition.