Nearly 600 friends and snow sports industry leaders joined eight new members of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Saturday night (April 14, 2012) in Seattle for a formal induction ceremony.
The evening event was the finale to a weeklong celebration of skiing history – the annual Skiing Heritage Week. The Pacific Northwest was the venue, marking the 50th anniversary of K2, the ski and snowboard manufacturer based in Seattle. K2 received the Legends of Skiing Award.
“It was a great night with plenty of emotion to go around,” U.S. Ski Hall of Fame Board Chairman Bernie Weichsel told SnoCountry.com. “It was great to see a big turnout for Skiing Heritage Week and the induction ceremony.”
The Hall of Fame honored Olympic and World Championship medalists Eva Twardokens and Joe Pack; the late ski area pioneer and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association leader Nick Badami; ski show pioneer Harry Leonard; ski area and National Ski Areas Association leader Phil Gravink; ski historian Mason Beekley; speed skier and author Dick Dorworth; and pro skiing racer Tyler Palmer. A formal “enshrinement” will occur this fall with ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Museum in Ishpeming, Mich.
The annual Jerry Awards, named for the late Jerry Simon who created the International Ski Film Festival that was conducted for many years, was presented earlier in Ski Heritage Week. Barbara Alley, Simon's wife, and herself a ski fashion leader for many years, was on hand for the presentations. The Hall has more than 1,000 films in its collection. The International Ski History Association (ISHA) presented the program.
The top Jerry Award for 2012 was given to “Ski Heil – When Two Boards Meant The World” by German filmmaker Richard Rossman. The story traces the lives of four boys, including the producer’s father, whose lives were forever linked to Austrian and German history. Rossman was on hand for the American premiere of the film following the awards ceremony.
Other films honored included “Ski Flight”, 1937, by Jerome Hill and Otto Lang; “One for the Money: The Pros”, 1972, by Fat City; “The Spider and the Frenchman”, 1974, by Dick Barrymore; “Assignment K2”, 1975, also by Barrymore; and “Mark of Champions”, 1982, by Joe Jay Jalbert.
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. Nominations for the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 are open until April 30. Skiing Heritage Week will be held in April 2012 in Vail as that resort celebrates its 50th anniversary season.
What It Means: Snowsports have a long and storied history around the world and in our country. Honoring those who pioneered the sport on mountains from the Alps to the Sierra is important to those who came before and will come later.
Photo: Honorees and those accepting for them at Skiing Heritage Week HOF Dinner. (Photo courtesy Tom Kelly)