Eight athletes and sport builders were inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in a sold out ceremony in Seattle. (Karl Weatherly)
SEATTLE, WA (Apr. 14) – In a night filled with emotion and fond memories, eight legends of skiing were inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall Fame Saturday as over 600 attended a ceremony in Seattle. Olympic and World Championship medalists Joe Pack and Eva Twardokens headlined eight skiing luminaries who joined the Hall of Fame’s Honor Roll for 2011. Also honored was ski area pioneer, the late Nick Badami, who played a pivotal role with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games.
The Hall of Fame ceremony, which rotates around the country each year, was in Seattle for the 50th anniversary ski and snowboard manufacturer K2, which received the Hall’s Legends of Skiing Award.
Also honored were ski area pioneer Phil Gravink, ski historian Mason Beekley, speed skier and author Dick Dorworth, ski show pioneer Harry Leonard and World Cup and Pro Skiing racer Tyler Palmer.
Nominations for the Hall of Fame are open to the public with the process managed by the Hall of Fame’s National Selection Committee followed by a vote of over 100 skiing experts and enthusiasts who make up its National Voting Panel. In addition to the induction ceremony in Seattle, a formal enshrinement will be held at the Ishpeming, MI Hall of Fame this Fall. Nominations for the Class of 2012 are now open but will close on April 30. For more information on the nominating procedure go to www.skihall.com.
Nick Badami Nick Badami had a four-decade career in the ski industry as a business owner, executive and volunteer. After retiring from a successful business career at the age of 49 he bought Alpine Meadows in California and later Utah's Park City Ski Area. He served in leadership roles at the National Ski Areas Association, U.S. Skiing and both the Bid and Organizing Committees for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. At the USSA he played a vital role in the transformation of the organization to become a highly respected Olympic sports organization. As chairman of Powdr Corporation he grew his resort holdings before retiring in 2003. Badami passed away in 2008.
“My grandmother and I are truly honored to accept this award,” said Badami’s grandson Nicholas. “It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be up here to accept this award if my father Craig hadn’t dragged my grandpa out west with visions of getting into the ski business. The two of them made an incredible team and put Alpine Meadows and Park City on the map internationally. They had a vision to bring international ski racing to Park City. And if you knew my dad and grandpa, you knew it was just a matter of time they were hosting events and ultimately the Olympics.”
Joe Pack Joe Pack was one of the stars of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics whose performance resulted in a silver medal in the freestyle skiing aerials event. Over his career he reached the World Cup podium 12 times, including three wins. He won two World Championship bronze medals to go along with his Olympic silver medal, which he won in front of his hometown fans at Deer Valley Resort in Park City. After retiring from skiing he became a professional golfer based in Hawaii.
“I didn’t get into aerials because I wanted to get into the Olympics – I got into it because I wanted to catch air,” said Pack, who told a story of how legendary freestyle aerialist Trace Worthington saw Pack as a Nordic ski jumper in Lake Placid and turned him into an aerialist. “The U.S. Ski Team gave me the opportunity to do that. Without the Team, none of us would have had the opportunity to do the things we wanted to do. It’s about the shield – that shield is something I am so proud to be a part of.”
Eva Twardokens Reno native Eva Twardokens made her World Cup debut at the age of 17 in 1982 and was Ski Racing’s Junior Racer of the Year in 1982 and 1983. In a 12-year career she earned three podiums and 34 top tens, including the giant slalom bronze in the 1985 World Championships. She was a two time Olympian finishing sixth in the GS in Lillehammer in 1994. Today she is a fitness advocate and trainer in Santa Cruz, CA and holds a Masters National Weightlifting title.
“I’m so honored to be here,” said Twardokens. “As I’ve moved on through my life, not living at a ski area, I tend to forget about my ski career. This induction has helped me bring skiing back into my life. As we move on through our lives we end up with new friends and new communities. This has allowed my new community to experience what I did for the majority of my life as a ski racer.”
Tyler Palmer A 1969 junior champion, New Hampshire's Tyler Palmer was a dominant racer on the newly formed World Cup tour in the 1970’s. In 1971, he was the first American male to crack the top three overall in slalom. During his career he won two World Cup slaloms, reached the podium four times and had nine top tens. Later he raced on Bob Beattie’s World Professional Ski Tour where he won five races. A National Masters Champion several times Palmer was a coach for junior racers at Sun Valley until his retirement in 2010.
“Among those I want to thank are all the ski area operators who supported and encouraged us in the sport of ski racing that has meant so much to me,” said Palmer. “Most of all, I want thank the men who helped me and let me become one of them: Spider Sabich, who taught me how to live my life to be able to win ski races and be myself; Jimmie Heuga, who schooled me on how to setup a day of ski racing, who organized my mind for me; Billy Kidd, who I grew up idolizing and roomed with on my first trip to Europe and who had an infinite amount of patience and taught a scatter brained kid how important the mind can be in ski racing. Without these giants, I wouldn’t be here. What an awesome trio of teachers – I owe a great deal to all of them. And then there was Beats – Bob Beattie, who had meant so much to the generation before me and, even more, to my generation.”
Dick Dorworth Dick Dorworth was a ski racer, world speed record holder, coach, instructor and journalist. As a ski racer he was named a collegiate All American in 1962 and in 1963 he set a world speed record of 170 kph, in Portillo, Chile. He went on to become a certified instructor in both France and the USA, including ski school director at Aspen, and a U.S. Ski Team coach. The publisher of several books on skiing and a recipient of an Ullr Award from the International Skiing History Association, Dorworth’s articles have appeared in nearly every skiing magazine and journal.
Mason Beekley Mason Beekley, who died in 2001, was a successful businessman and passionate skier who eventually directed that enthusiasm to the support of preserving skiing history. During his lifetime he developed an extraordinary library dedicated to skiing and one of the world’s most extensive collections of ski art leading him to form the International Skiing History Association in 1991 which today has over 2,000 members worldwide and publishes Skiing Heritage magazine.
Phil Gravink Phil Gravink was a key player for 35 years at the national level in ski area management. After graduating from college he started out helping run his family’s farm in New York State before founding an area known as Peek’n Peak. He went on to head Gore Mountain and later New Hampshire's Loon Mountain, developing it into a leading modern resort. He was also a key player in influencing the policies of the U.S. Forest Service and served as a National Ski Areas Association director for 18 years including a term as chairman. He received the NSAA's Sherman Adams Award for his leadership as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award and the BEWI Award.
Harry Leonard Harry Leonard was skiing’s impresario, visionary and cheerleader during the 1960’s and 70’s. He organized the first ski consumer show in Chicago in 1958, which was a success that spread nationwide within the next few years. With his partner Jerry Simon, he brought to the shows a creative genius and enthusiasm that made them fun and entertaining. He pioneered the use of the ski deck that brought skiing right into his shows as well as great skiers who were the headliners for his events.
About the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is located in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of organized skiing in America with the formation of the National Ski Association (now the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association) in 1905. It is dedicated to providing respected and lasting national recognition to the great achievers and contributors to skiing and snowboarding in the United States. Its 20,000 square foot building is a museum preserving and providing public access to an extensive collection of artifacts, archives, photographs and films that record the colorful history of these sports. It is also the headquarters of the International Skiing History Association.