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Huge crowd shows up to remember skier Jeremy Nobis

(L-R) Tim Ross, Shannon Nobis, Dar Hendrickson, Patti Formachelli, Nancy Nobis, Tommy Moe and Jill Johnson
Leslie Thatcher
(L-R) Tim Ross, Shannon Nobis, Dar Hendrickson, Patti Formachelli, Nancy Nobis, Tommy Moe and Jill Johnson

More than 200 people gathered at The Corner Store patio at the base of Park City Mountain Saturday afternoon to remember – and celebrate – the life of Park City skier Jeremy Nobis; one of the first great skiers to come out of the Park City Ski Team.

The young Nobis family moved from Wisconsin to Park City in 1978 with their two red-haired children Jeremy and Shannon in tow. Nancy was finishing her nursing degree and chose the University of Utah and Wasatch Mountains over Duke University in North Carolina, after seeing Jeremy’s love of skiing at just seven years old.

His natural talent for skiing – and passion for the sport - quickly stood out when he joined the Park City Ski Team. Bob Marsh, the team’s director at the time was unable to attend Saturday’s celebration but sent his memories, which were read by ski team coach Dar Hendrickson.

“From when he first started skiing as a small child, he exhibited unquenchable thirst to be the first down and the last off the mountain whenever he could. So much so, that his lack of patience for waiting in the lift line was challenging for him and got him in a little hot water. On two occasions during Jeremy's formative years, I accompanied Jeremy to the ski area manager's office after the lift attendant took his pass for let's just say using a technique for getting to the chair faster than anyone else. Somebody might see this as cutting the line. But Jeremy just wanted to get back to the top to get back to the business at hand or freesking, skiing gates or the powder.”

Marsh added that Jeremy’s self-confidence and determination contributed to his success. And when he didn’t have the words or was challenged, he let his skis speak for him.

Patti Formichelli was a longtime coach with the Park City Ski Team and coached Jeremy for years. She said she has never coached a kid who wanted to ski so much and all the time.

“He was so competitive with everything,” Formichelli said. “I remember going to the scoreboard after races and he was probably 11 years old at the time. He would calculate how far ahead he was, how far each guy was behind him, how much they had to make up. And then he would go and tell them.”

Tim Ross was the assistant headmaster and director of Green Mountain Valley School, a prestigious private college preparatory high school where Jeremy finished high school.

“The one thing I learned really early on is I think Jeremy's number one quality and the number one driving force was just this great tenacity. And in everything he did just as an unbelievable tenacity to be the best, to be the fastest, to outdo everybody else. And I saw that through his entire career.” Ross said.”

Olympic medalist Tommy Moe was a teammate of Jeremy’s and they both skied in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. Just due to bad luck, Moe said that Jeremy didn’t see the wins on the World Cup that Moe did. But he credits Jeremy for some of his success…

“Jeremy was the kind of skier that didn't have any fear,” Moe said. “When I had one of my best results on the World Cup in 1992 and 93, I t was because of Jeremy's training camp that we set up like he's like, ‘no, come with me. We'll go to New Zealand to train.’”

The world he added is still in awe of some of the ski lines Jeremy took down many first descents in Alaska’s Chugach mountains, Moe’s home turf.

Jeremy left the U.S. Ski Team in 1995, did a brief stint on the Pro Tour, and raced mountain bikes, but then he turned to big mountain skiing where he excelled. With the Teton Gravity Research helicopter and camera above him, Jeremy became the second person to ski Pyramid Peak in Alaska: a 2,000 vertical foot slope on a 52-degree pitch and he did it full throttle. Doug Combs had already skied the slope in 80 turns; Jeremy did it in eight.

Jeremy’s mom and sister, along with many of Jeremy’s childhood and high school friends, were among the hundreds in the crowd, many of whom had travelled across the county and around the world to say goodbye.

Jeremy Nobis was 52 when he was found dead in his cell at the Iron County Jail in Cedar City, where he was awaiting sentencing in a DUI case.