The collective hearts of the Board of Directors and staff of The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation are saddened by the sudden passing of CEO Tom Osborne.
At the helm of the largest and most iconic sporting events in Colorado Springs, Osborne left an impressive mark on the Rocky Mountain State Games, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Labor Day Lift Off and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame, to name a few.
“He was an incredible man, a great leader and a friend,” said Dave Palenchar, Chairman of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. “Tom loved The Sports Corp, he loved the community and he touched an unbelievable number of people personally and through Sports Corp events in the last 18 years. We’re grateful for all that he did for our organization and the Colorado Springs community. He was more than one in a million – he will be deeply, deeply missed.”
Osborne was a 1978 graduate of Montana State University-Billings, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He was the founder of the Big Sky State Games in Montana, and served as the Executive Director from 1985 to 1993. Under Osborne’s leadership, the Big Sky State Games grew to become the largest State Games for athlete participation per capita.
Serving as the Executive Director of the National Congress of State Games from 1993 through 2003, Osborne assisted in the creation and execution of the State Games of America, the national State Games, managed the national office, and was directly involved in fundraising, sponsorship, and grant solicitation. He was elected President of the National Congress of State Games in 2003.
He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors and served on its Executive Committee from 1996 through 2000 and on numerous committees and task forces, including the Delegation Review Committee and the Equestrian Hearing Panel.
Osborne joined the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation as the President & CEO in 2003. Under his leadership, the organization grew its flagship event, the Rocky Mountain State Games, from 14 sports and 2,000 athletes to over 20 sports and 10,000 athletes annually in just a few short years. The organization successfully hosted the State Games of America an unprecedented three times, in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Well-known and well-respected, Osborne was a pillar in Colorado Springs – the community that he loved. In addition to his role with The Sports Corp, he served on the board of directors for The Broadmoor World Arena, Visit Colorado Springs and The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – both as Chairman & Vice Chairman.
“He will be remembered for his ability to attract sporting events to the Pikes Peak region, from the Warrior Games, to premier cycling events, the Colorado Classic and the USA Pro Challenge,” stated Doug Martin, Chief Operating Officer. “Tom’s love of this city and the sporting venues it offers was the catalyst in bringing new events, tournaments, and national governing bodies to Colorado Springs.”
Under Osborne’s leadership and his wealth of knowledge in event management, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb once again attained the status and significance envisioned by its founder, Spencer Penrose, more than 100 years ago. “Tom was an incredible leader whose love for the Colorado Springs community was evident every day he walked into work,” shared Megan Leatham, Executive Director of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “In the 10 years he has championed our event, he has made such a positive impact on everyone who was lucky enough to know him. He was a treasured friend and mentor and has left an impressive legacy.”
Osborne’s genuine love of sports at any level was contagious, but was always second to his dedication to his family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Amy; daughter, Ellie (Cameron) Kuehne; son, Ben (Kassy) Haughton and the light of his life, granddaughter, Charlie Rose Kuehne.