Claudio Berto: Honoured Lifetime Builder
A lifetime of dedication to building a stronger community of athletes, coaches, volunteers and Masters.
He is a lifelong coach who has worked with generations of athletes, with many clubs and programs a level of commitment to alpine ski racing that few can match. For over 40 years, Claudio Berto has guided some of Canada’s greatest athletes in their formative years and has instilled a life-long passion for skiing and ski racing in all he has worked with.
Hailing originally from Italy, Claudio competed as a youngster in Ontario, graduating to University racing, while pursuing is studies. Upon graduation, he moved west, taking professional positions with architectural firms, but to also follow his passion for ski racing in the mountains. “Coming to Alberta was like my mountain home in Italy.”
Claudio started his western coaching with the Sunshine Ski Club where he gained great experience working with a number of young athletes who went on to represent Canada at the highest levels. “Sunshine Ski Club developed a very strong team by putting some athletes on the Provincial team and National Team like Karen Percy. What a great environment for a new coach to learn what it takes to be good at your craft.”
Like so many alpine ski leaders in the 1980’s, Claudio was a key contributor to the 1988 Olympic Winter Games as one the Alpine Skiing crew chiefs. This was also a time of his moving to the Paskapoo Ski Club and subsequently to NATC as FIS coach.
In 2002 Claudio found a calling that has been his passion for nearly two decades: Masters Ski Racing. Starting as the “Wannabes” at Nakiska, our senior athletes later became known as the Alberta Masters Ski Club. “This sparked my Passion again – there is life after FIS!”
“The Alberta Masters’ program for adults helped many hone in on improving their skiing talent, coaching, knowledge, mentorship, and to inspire others, not only in skiing, but other pursuits” says Claudio. “As adults, athletes are more likely to challenge your approach, which eventually helps both the athlete and coach to excel. Wow what a great way to learn and lift the sport for all those kids, parents and even us as coaches.”
“The Alberta Masters enables people to rekindle their passion for skiing. Ex-racers, parents, even some from the CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance) / CSF (Canadian Ski Federation) and those who have left the sport for different reasons, benefit from the program. The Alberta Masters’ program, as well as the rest of our alpine community, come together to teach the next generation of racers life skills, hopes, time management and hopefully help them with their everyday life.”
You can find Claudio out on the hill, shooting video, talking on the radio and working tirelessly to get courses ready and race-tracks safe. He is out every weekend with drill bit in hand and sharing his experience with other coaches and his Masters athletes.
“The ‘ski community’ extends beyond the athlete to parents, family, and friends”, says our Honoured Lifetime Builder. “Their support is greater than just standing on the side of the hill with numerous dimensions to the sport – physical, mental, technical, tactical, financial – to understand the number of things they all need to feel and navigate when they are training or racing. This is the reason for my passion in what I do – trying to help parents or older athletes to fulfill their childhood dreams.”
The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame is honoured to recognize Claudio Berto, our 2020 Honoured Builder, for a lifetime of dedication to athletes of all ages, to his fellow coaches, to sharing his experience and leadership skills with race organization and for passionately building the Masters racing community.
– 30 –