Ski hall induction Saturday

Transcription from Webpage of the Michigan Upper Peninsula Mining Journal, Apr. 27, 2006

Walter Foeger races down a slalom in 1953ISHPEMING – The newest inductees to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame will be welcomed this weekend.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has proclaimed Saturday as 2006 U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame Day throughout the state of Michigan to honor the organization “and the contributions its inductees have made to the winter sport community in Michigan and the United States.”

Four new members will be added to the hall as the Class of 2005.

The formal induction ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Friday at Marquette’s UpFront and Company with the traditional Kiwanis breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday at C.L. Phelps Middle School in Ishpeming. An open house for the public will conclude the weekend celebration at 2 p.m. Saturday with a Placement Ceremony at the hall in which the inductees will hang photos of themselves in the Honors Court.

Here is the Class of 2005:

David Brown stands on Aspen Mountain in 1976David ‘Darcy’ Brown, president of Aspen Ski Corporation for 20 years and one of the founders of the National Ski Areas Association. Brown, 93, was one of the chief investors in Aspen’s first chairlift in 1946.

He became the president and general manager of the company in 1957. But his pioneering spirit, work ethic and banking brilliance would transform the struggling resort into a star of the ski industry.

When Brown started as Aspen president he supervised a staff of 25, and when he left 22 years later it had grown to 1,200. During his tenure, the company expanded Aspen in Colorado to include Buttermilk, Snowmass and Breckenridge. In Canada, the company also acquired Mount Tremblant in Quebec and an interest in Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia. Volume also quadrupled from 259,000 skier visits during the winter of 1964-65 to 1.23 million in 1978-79, when the company was sold to Twentieth Century-Fox and Brown retired.

Walter Foeger, developer of Vermont’s Jay Peak Resort and the ‘Natur Teknik’ ski instruction system. Foeger was born in Austria in 1917. He got his first pair of skis when he was 10 and by the time he was 13 he won the Tyrolean Youth Ski Championships, a title he defended for three years in a row. In 1936 he won the junior combined as well as the downhill in the Kitzbuhel Hahnenkamm and in 1937 was picked for the Austrian National Team.

War interrupted Foeger’s ski racing career, but in 1945 he was back on the slopes and co-founded the Austrian Ski Association serving as director. The next year he was chosen to coach the Spanish National Team and he guided them to the 1952 Olympics.

In 1956, he was hired by the Jay Peak Resort in Vermont and through his programming and books – including’Learn to Ski in a Week’- he made the resort an attraction for skiers from all around the world. By the end of the 1970s, Foeger’s ski schools had introduced about 150,000 skiers to the sport.

Hilary Lindh, 1992 Olympic downhill silver medalist and 1997 world downhill champion. Lindh said she believes “skiing is not just something you do, it is a way of life.”

An Alaska native, she moved to Utah to train at age 14. The next year she was named to the U.S. Development Team. In 1986, at 16, she won the U.S. downhill title at Copper Mountain, Colo., and then a week later won the downhill at the World Junior Championships in Bad Gastein, Austria – a first for an American.

Lindh made the 1988 Olympic team, but her name would not headline in the ski world again until 1992 when she won a silver medal at the Albertville Olympics in France.

She retired on March 13, 1997, after 13 years on the U.S. Ski Team, three Olympic Games and one Olympic silver, five U.S. National titles, three World Cup downhill titles and a World Championship downhill gold.

Erich Sailer, the ‘Yoda of ski racing’ who has influenced thousands of ski racers, including a host of Olympians, from his home hill, Buck Hill, Minn.

When it comes to ski racing no coach can claim a record like Sailer. For 50 years, this feisty Austrian has stood next to slalom courses tirelessly drilling alpine racers into world class competitors. His passion for the sport and his gift for teaching racers to go faster have touched about 25,000 skiers, including five of the women who represented the U.S. team in Torino: Lindsey Kildow, Kristina Koznick, Julia Mancuso, Sarah Schleper and Resi Stiegler.

His quest to build better ski racers has been a year round job since 1956, when as a newcomer to the states he pioneered summer ski racing on this continent with a camp at Timberline on Oregon’s Mount Hood.

By 1967, he launched a camp on the Bear Tooth Pass outside Red Lodge, Mont., that soon became the biggest ski racing camp in the country attracting 700 skiers in a 40-day season.

In 1969, he came to Buck Hill in Burnsville. The 45-member ski team had never won a race but within a year, four racers were headed to the Junior Nationals. True to his mission, 15 racers from Buck Hill have made that team and four have competed at the Olympics.

In 1998, he was the first to be honored as USSA’s Development Coach of the Year, Domestic Coach of the Year, and the United States Olympic Committee named him Ski Coach of the Year. ln 2004, he was presented with USSA’s Tom Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award.

Transcription from Webpage of the Michigan Upper Peninsula Mining Journal, Apr. 27, 2006