http://www.timberlinelodge.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Jozsi-1-225x300.jpg" alt="jozsi kabdebo" width="225" height="300" />Dubbed “The Most Committed Man in Skiing” by Powder Magazine in 2012, Jozsi (pronounced Yo-shi) Kabdebo is getting a Timberline ski run named in his honor at the ski area’s Winter Kickoff Party on Saturday December 19th at 10:15am. Kabdebo, who most skiers simply refer to as “Yosh,” is a kind and familiar face on the slopes at Timberline where he has coached the Beaverton-based Ski Tek Youth Racing Team for the past 56 years.
A true athlete and competitor, Yosh spent his early years drag car racing, playing World Cup Soccer, and of course, skiing. His athletic pursuits were temporarily put on hold in 1956 when he joined the rebellion against Communism, and became a Freedom Fighter when his native Hungary was occupied by the Soviets. Becoming seriously injured, he was airlifted by the Americans to the Dover Air Force Base. A doctor was selected at Portland’s St. Vincent Hospital to remove the shrapnel from Joszi’s back, which was threatening to paralyze him. He stayed in Portland where he married, raised a family, and opened a foreign auto repair shop specializing in VW. After he recovered from his injuries, he wasted no time returning to the slopes, where Timberline welcomed him with open arms and put him to work as a ski instructor in the 1958 and ’59 seasons. In 1961 he started Ski Tek. He has volunteered most every winter weekend since, driving his trusty VW van full of young racers up to Timberline where he could be spotted setting up courses on the slopes, and encouraging and teaching life lessons through his dedication and techniques of successful ski racing.
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His team’s success is legendary, but it is his example as an inspirational and caring human being that is his hallmark. Now retired at 87, he remains a role model for self-reliance, and a positive attitude. His enormous affect on his young racers still serves many of them to this day. As just one example, Mark Stapleton, a Ski Tek alum and dentist from Springfield, Oregon writes, “He impacted my life by showing me his love of the mountains and skiing, but he has been an even more positive impact on me as a person. I channel his generous and patient attitude with children to this day.”
The skiing public is invited to honor this Timberline hero and join Ski Tek alumni as they dedicate “Joszi’s” with a slopeside ribbon cutting at the top of the black diamond run previously named “Slalom.”
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