World Cup Medals Created by Ridgway Artist ~ by Tanya Ishikawa/The Watch


Lisa Issenberg works in her Ridgway studio. “There’s so much joy around the whole process of creating awards that honor people’s accomplishments,” she says. (Photo by Elizabeth Riley)

This week, a few works of Colorado art are headed to Switzerland, Germany and Norway, among other countries called home by the winners of the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup. Designed and handcrafted in a Ridgway studio, the medals from last weekend’s ski race in Beaver Creek are just the first few by metal artist Lisa Issenberg that will be awarded this winter.

In past years, top American winter athletes also have taken home an original medal by Kiitellä, Issenberg’s studio’s name, which means “to thank, applaud, praise” in Finnish. Ten of her awards have been won by Mikaela Shiffrin, six by Megan McJames, five by Tim Jitloff, four by Ted Ligety, and two by Lindsey Vonn, to name a few.

More than 10 winter sports competitions will be handing out Issenberg’s awards this season, including the U.S. National Skiing Championships, U.S. National Snowboarding and Freeskiing Championships, FIS (International Ski Federation) Telemark World Cup, and the COSMIC Series ski mountaineering cup. COSMIC is a new client this year.

 “I chose Lisa over all the other extremely talented people in Colorado because she is core! She understands her market. She participates in the sports she makes awards for. Her connections run deep and in the mountain sports community; that’s especially valuable,” said COSMIC Race Director and Owner Jose Risi. “You can tell that each medal someone actually had to sweat over to make. There is the human element in each medal. You don’t get that from a trophy store.”

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