National Ski Hall Of Fame Will Induct Six Into 2012 Class
Freestyle legend Wayne Wong; moguls champ Jeremy Bloom, World Champion Kirsten Clark; snowboarding pioneer Craig Kelly, ski instructor Horst Abraham; and resort developer Hans Geier make up the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
Hall of Fame Chairman Bernie Weichsel made the announcement and said induction ceremonies will take place April 13, 2013 at the Marriott Hotel in Vail. It will be concluding event for Skiing Heritage Week that celebrates Vail’s 50th Anniversary. A formal induction ceremony will be held in the fall at the Hall of Fame headquarters in Ishpeming, Mich., the birthplace of organized skiing in America
Wong was the most popular skier in the early days of freestyle or hot dog skiing. His “Wong Banger” was his signature and he appeared in countless ski films and consumer ski shows. He still conveys his passion for the sport today. Both SKI and Powder magazines have named him among the most influential skiers of the 20th century.
Bloom won two World Cup titles and World Freestyle Championships. He won gold in dual moguls at the 2003 Worlds and silver in individual moguls. His six consecutive wins set a record that stood for seven years. Bloom was also a football star at the University of Colorado and played pro ball with the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons.
Clark honed her racing skills on Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain and competed for 13 years on the U.S. Ski Team. She won 12 U.S. titles and reached the World Cup podium eight times. She won a silver medal in super G at the 2003 Worlds. She strung together five consecutive U.S. downhill titles from 1998 to 2002.
Kelly becomes the third snowboarder to enter the Hall. He won four world titles during the sport’s early days and was one of its most influential pioneers. He worked with Jake Burton Carpenter to open a large number of ski areas to the new sport in the 1980s. He holds an honors degree in chemical engineering and won Transworld Snowboarding’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. Kelly died in an avalanche in 2003 while seeking to become the first fully certified Canadian Mountain Guide as a snowboarder.
Abraham, an Austrian, led Americans to become the world leaders in their field. He began with the Aspen Ski School and later became technical director for the Vail Ski School. He eventually was vice president of the Professional Ski Insructors of America. Abraham developed what became known as the American Teaching Method in 1980.
Geier was a leading manager and developer of ski areas in the U.S. for nearly 30 years. He completed Pennsylvania’s Round Top in 1971 and served as general manager of Steamboat Springs from 1981 to 1990, leading it through a $43 million expansion. He then became president of Doppelmayer Corp. for the USA in 1994. He retired in 1998, after receiving the National Ski Area Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
What It Means: The annual announcement of members of the next class of Hall of Fame inductees is to our sports what the Baseball Hall of Fame is to that sport. All of us at SnoCountry.com send our congratulations to this worth list of new members.
Photo: Wayne Wong (NashobaValley.com)