Christina Bruno Named Colorado Snowsports Instructor of the Year

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) hosted its 58th Annual Meeting and Double Diamond Awards Ceremony to celebrate excellence in the Colorado ski industry last week, where they honored PSIA-AASI Adaptive Team member Christina Bruno as the Snowsports Instructor of the Year.

In acknowledging Christina, CSCUSA stated, “As a snowboard and ski instructor and adaptive examiner, Christina Bruno brings her technical knowledge, years of experience, empathy, passion, professionalism, and dedication to everything she does at Steamboat Resort. Bruno used her extensive adaptive experience and knowledge to help develop and implement teaching tools for instructors to maintain safe distances between instructors and guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nelson Wingard, Director of Steamboat Snowsports School, said, “She inspires others in the way she can teach anything, anytime, anywhere; from skiing to snowboarding to adaptive, to people of diverse backgrounds, ages, and abilities. She does it all with a positive, can-do attitude, extensive technical riding knowledge, and a myriad of teaching tricks and tips.”

Christina is also the proud recipient of the NSAA Breaking Down Barriers Award for expanding resources for the adaptive snowboard community.

Here, Christina shares what the award means to her.

What does this award mean to you?

Receiving the Double Diamond Award for Instructor of the Year is a huge honor. Instructing is a huge part of my life and has brought me so much joy, I’m humbled to be recognized in this way.

What were some of the teaching tools you implemented to keep instructors and students safe during this unprecedented season, and how gratifying was it to keep teaching?

This season I shared teaching tools with our snowboard instructors that are often used in adaptive lessons to promote learning and assist in skill development. For example, I provided guidance on using Hula Hoops, I-Teach Bars, and teaching tactics aimed to reduce the need for “The Dance” or holding hands, a technique often used in beginner snowboard lessons. The Steamboat’s Snowsports School embraced learning how to use the tools in their lessons and will likely continue to use them in the future.

How did you keep working to ensure snowsports are available to everyone?

There were so many unknowns going into the 2020-21 season, it was extremely gratifying to teach and connect with others through snowsports. It ended up being an incredibly busy season, which I wasn’t expecting!

Anything else?

I learned how to snowboard through a school program in elementary and that opportunity forever changed my life, giving me confidence, freedom, and a connection to nature and the mountains. I believe everyone should have the same opportunity, regardless of their abilities or circumstances. I started my career as an adaptive volunteer in college and have been hooked ever since. We still have a long way to create more justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in snowsports, which will continue to be a driving force in my career as an instructor and within the industry.

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