Bert Fischer

Bert Fischer, of Bay Village, Ohio, led early efforts to develop possibilities for disabled persons to ski. Now, the well known Midwest teacher and writer will receive the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Pioneer of Skiing award.

"This is a relatively new award from the Hall of Fame," CEO Tom West told "It was first presented to a group of freestyle skiers (the early hot doggers) in Sun Valley in 2011. This year, besides Bert, the award will be presented to the pioneers of the pro racing circuit back in the 1970s and 80s."

Fischer, a member of Hungary’s 1948 Olympic Team, defected to the United States at the end of those games. He settled in the Hungarian community near Cleveland where he met his wife, Evelyn. They raised three boys, who were just a few of the thousands of students he taught to ski in his career as a Professional Ski Instructor, one of the first certified PSIA members in America.

He was the manager of the Bert Fischer Ski School at Mount Chalet, where he worked with Hall of Fame member Paul Leimkuehler to set up the country’s first adaptive ski program. He is a passionate promoter of the sport, writing numerous articles as a member of the Midwest chapter of ski writers. He hosted a television show for six years on the local NBC affiliate station.

Fischer received the Golden Quill Award from the North American Ski Journalists Association (NASJA) in 1989. His perpetual enthusiasm for the sport was always on display, even toting around a portable CD player to share “Let's Go Skiing Together,” a song he wrote decades ago.

He worked with Sears Roebuck in Ohio to partner with White Stag clothiers and begin outfitting the local ski school. As a constant promoter, he also went to the Canadian Embassy in the 1980s to convince the Travel Commission to host the first NASJA event held outside the U.S. 

Fischer has given his time and talent to ensure anyone who wants to learn to ski, can. He was inducted to the Disabled Skier's Hall of Fame in 2000.

The Pioneer of Skiing award will be presented to him at Boston Mills, Ohio in February and he will also be recognized in Vail, Colo. during Skiing Heritage Week and the Hall of Fame’s induction event in April.