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Ski Resort Life

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2011

A sold-out ceremony ushers eight athletes and industry pioneers into the fold.

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Hundreds packed into Seattle’s Bell Harbor Events Center on April 14 to welcome eight new Hall of Famers, while concurrently celebrating K2’s 50th year of ski-gear innovation. It was a fitting nod to the sport’s history and future—a recognition of how far we’ve come and a celebration the people who helped pave the way.

Congrats to the inductees:

Nick Badami, former owner of Alpine Meadows, Calif., and Park City Mountain Resort, and CEO of Powdr Corp., went on to leadership roles at both the National Ski Areas Association and several governing committees of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.  He died in 2008.

Mason Beekley was a history aficionado determined to ensure skiing’s history be documented. He formed the International Skiing History Association in 1991, which is 2,000 members strong today and continues to publish Skiing Heritage magazine. Beekley also amassed a personal library of thousands of ski posters, photographs and art until his death in 2001.

Ski racer and world speed record holder Dick Dorworth wore many hats throughout his career. As a racer, he was collegiate All-American in 1962. In 1963, he set a record for speed at 170 mph in Portillo, Chile. After retiring, he did stints as a ski instructor and a U.S. Ski Team coach before putting pen to paper as a novelist and sports journalist. His most recent book, The Straight Course, was published in late 2011.

Phil Gravink is a ski-area management icon, transforming New York’s Gore and New Hampshire’s Loon mountains into successful resorts. He went on to pursue various leadership roles with the National Ski Areas Association, even serving as chairman from 1979 to 1980.

Ski-show pioneer Harry Leonard, along with partner Jerry Simon, created ski shows as we know them today, beginning with his inaugural show in 1958 outside of Chicago. He introduced the Ski Deck and brought athletes and entertainers to the skiing public, turning the ski show into a viable way to connect skiers with the resorts, gear and services they need.

Olympian Joe Pack began his career as a Nordic ski jumper until he was spotted by freestyle aerialist Trace Worthington, who directed Pack to freestyle. It was a good move, as Pack enjoyed 12 trips to the World Cup podium, three times for gold. Pack won silver at Deer Valley’s freestyle aerial venue during the 2002 Olympics in front of a supportive hometown crowd.

Eva Twardokens rocketed into the public spotlight at the age of 17, gaining the ski world’s attention as Junior Racer of the Year in 1982 and again in 1983. Her 12-year career saw 34 top-10 finishes, including three World Cup podiums and a sixth-place GS finish at the Lillehammer Olympics.

Ski racer Tyler Palmer made his mark on the ski community in 1969 as a junior champion, proving to be a force on the newly formed World Cup tour in the ’70s. In 1971, Palmer became the first American man to finish in the top three in a World Cup race. It wouldn’t be the last time: Palmer went on to win two World Cup slaloms before turning pro, racing on Bob Beattie’s World Professional Ski Tour. Palmer coached junior racers at Sun Valley until his recent retirement in 2010.