The Art of Human Interaction and Using Skiing as A Catalyst for Life Long Success

Husband, father, Olympian, and realtor, Bobby Aldighieri discusses the dying art of human interaction and striving for excellence in every aspect of life.

by Bobby Aldighieri

This is not really about being an Olympian in skiing, it’s a story of striving to be excellent as an athlete initially and what that taught me and how I used that as a catalyst for “adulthood”.

Passion, that’s how I would describe my way of doing things, (I also happen to be full-blooded Italian, so that probably adds to the equation). Growing up skiing in the Northeast and going to Killington Mountain School in Killington, Vermont, as we know, the conditions are not always ideal. As a matter of fact, they can be downright miserable. Like, properly terrible. Honestly, those days, (either really sub-zero or pouring rain), never deterred me from my daily training routine, (I knew that more time on task than my competitors was essential if I had any chance at being world champion). Through this effort, it seemed like people were instantly there for me, attracted to my mission. Coaches, boot fitters, ski technicians, teammates, financial supporters… the list goes on and on. It was through those supporters that I learned the art of human interaction.

You see, there was no internet then, just handwritten notes, phone calls and, yes, in-person visits with people. Constant interaction without distraction. Without the distraction people could sense my passion for what I was doing. Some of it was said but most of it was through my actions. It was important for me throughout that time that I showed appreciation to those supporters. And, part of my drive to ski at the Olympic Games was to show those that had supported me, how much I appreciated their efforts assisting me in my quest. I learned a lot about appreciation through those years and that transferred to my coaching. 

I didn’t coach because I was a former athlete, I coached because I wanted to pass on what I saw as the coolest thing you could fill your time doing… mogul skiing and skiing on the World Cup and skiing at the Olympics. (One of my drawbacks initially was that I thought everyone wanted to make it to the highest level), but what I learned over time, was the value of truly hard work, enjoyment of the process, (this does not mean that it’s fun all of the time), but the internal satisfaction that I knew I did it fully and completely. (And no, I was never world champion… my best was #5 in the world).  

Bobby Aldighieri

My passion brought me to Steamboat Springs, and I was hired as the head coach of the mogul team here. We had a great run producing more US Team athletes out of Steamboat than any other team in the nation and even the silver medalist in the 2002 Olympics and currently the silver medalist from the 2022 Games! With all this success, there were thousands of kids that came through the program for every, single Olympian. We all gained perspective and meaningful relationships from all that interaction, (again, without distraction). It became the team of doing your very best and being honest about when you didn’t. From there I was hand-picked by the Canadian system, to be head coach, where we went on to also produce the gold medalist in the 2006, (Torino, Italy), Games, and the first world cup podium sweep in Canadian skiing history. None of this was easy, we had plenty of “stuff” along the way, but we had true unadulterated human interactions. We always worked it out. Common sensibilities to work on things are not so common anymore. These elements, these experiences are dwindling, (just being bored with your teammates on transatlantic flights and coming up with some ridiculous game is a thing of the past and may even seem old fashioned). 

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Giving up the sport was not an easy decision. Finding the next frontier was, (fortunately). For all my shortcomings, knowing what I want to do is not one of them! Ever since I was a kid, I thought I’d be in real estate… and here I am taking that same passion, appreciation, and personal interaction to the next thing. I know that customer service is vital and fundamental.

I’ll tell you, if you want to win a medal at the Olympic Games as a coach, you must be insanely customer service-oriented! I know now and I’ve always known that there is no replacement for human interaction vs. the digitized relationships that happen more and more every day.  There’s only one way to truly touch people’s lives in a meaningful way, and that’s by human interaction, caring, and passion for the process, (especially when it gets hard). 

That’s what I did to reach the top 5 in the world in skiing and it’s not failing me in my new vocation. 

Bobby Aldighieri is a Husband, father, Olympian, and Realtor living in the mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. A natural teacher and educator, Bobby has been involved in the Steamboat ski community for more than 20 years and successfully led a national ski team to two the Olympic Games, garnering a Gold Medal in 2006, Torino, Italy (and two 4th places, which still hurts a little). He’s been fortunate to call Steamboat home for over 26 years.

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