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ISHPEMING, MI – (News Release – October 19, 2008) – Olympic champion Eric Bergoust and downhill World Championship medalist Doug Lewis highlight the 2007 selections to the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. The Hall also selected nordic combined Olympian Tom Jacobs and its first snowboarding members, Jake and Donna Burton Carpenter. Ski industry pioneers Everett Kircher, who founded Boyne USA Resorts, and Mitch Cubberly of Cubco bindings, rounded out the selections.
“This is a great collection of accomplished athletes and sport pioneers,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President Bill Marolt. “Eric dominated freestyle aerials in the late ’90s and Doug’s medal in 1985 really ushered in today’s U.S. strength in the downhill.”
Bergoust, a four-time Olympian, is the most successful aerialist in U.S. history. He won the 1998 Olympic gold medal, the 1999 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships crown, the 2001 and 2002 World Cup aerials titles, 17 World Cup events, and three U.S. aerials championships.
Bergoust was hooked after watching a World Cup on ESPN in 1985. With a trampoline in his backyard just outside Missoula, MT, he was soon working on aerial skiing tricks. In 1988 he drove with his brothers to watch the aerials demonstration at the Calgary Olympics. He retired from the sport in 2006 and is now coaching.
Lewis, a two-time Olympian, was bronze medalist in downhill at the 1985 World Championships – the first won by an American man at the World Championships. He also won two U.S. downhill championships before retiring in 1988.
He went on to co-found Eliteam, a summer program aimed at improving conditioning for young ski racers and other athletes through sport psychology, physiology and good nutrition. He remains one of the most charismatic promoters of ski racing today, and is active as a television commentator with the Resort Sports Network and as a commentator at the Birds of Prey World Cup in Beaver Creek, CO.
Jake and Donna Burton Carpenter are owners of Burton Snowboards, founded in 1977 and the world’s leading snowboard maker with nearly 50 percent of the global market. Burton also is a trustee with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. They are the first to enter the Hall of Fame as a couple in recognition of their vision, determination and business savvy that brought snowboarding from backyard snow banks to resort slopes around the world.
Jacobs was a member of the 1952 Olympic Team in Oslo and competed in cross country and nordic combined. After retiring from competition, he coached at the University of Colorado, served as executive director of the then-National Ski Association (today’s U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association) in 1956-57 and later founded Reliable Racing Supply, the ski industry’s first mail-order racing equipment distributor.
The late Kircher, who founded Boyne USA Resorts in 1947, was a visionary during one of the industry’s important growth periods. He converted a small piece of Michigan farmland into a thriving resort, pioneering snowmaking, grooming and chairlift technology along the way, setting the bar for the industry nationwide. Today, his sons Stephen and John manage the largest family owned resort company in America with holdings from coast-to-coast including Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, the host site for Olympic freestyle and snowboarding in 2010.
Cubberly invented the first multi-angle release ski binding, called the Cubco, in the early 1950s. His company went on to innovate and market inventions such as the first step-in binding. The first anti-friction binding plate (the Cubco Skidder) and the Cubco ski brake were developed and marketed by his company. The late Cubberly did it with an unselfish attitude with many products unpatented so they would be available to the ski industry.
The official induction will take place at the SnowSports Industries America trade show, Jan. 31, 2008 in Las VVegas. A welcome home event in their honor will be held at the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of USSA, in September 2008.
The Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to honoring America’s skiing and snowboarding professionals, pioneers and athletes. The museum houses one of the largest collections of skis and snow sport related memorabilia in the United States.