ISHPEMING, MI (Press Release – October 16, 2007) – The U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame announces its Class of 2007. The inductees represent a very diverse group of snow sport pioneers, athletes and developers, including the first inductees for snowboarding.
Jake and Donna Carpenter, are the first people from snowboarding to be elected to the Hall of Fame. 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 the backyard snow banks to resort slopes around the world.
The Burton Snowboard Company was started in 1977 housed out of a Vermont barn. Jake Burton Carpenter would load up his station wagon and drive door-to-door convincing shops to buy his boards. Now, in 2007, the Carpenters are still its sole owners, which has grown into the world’s leading snowboard company, dominating close to 50 percent of the industry’s share.
Everett Kircher was the developer, visionary and executive of Boyne USA Resorts. Starting with just one dollar in 1947, Kircher bought a “useless piece of farmland in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan and started Boyne Mountain Ski Resort. From there he developed state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, the first double and triple chairlifts in the world and a ski resort management model that would create the most successful family-owned ski resort corporation in the United States.
Using his keen business sense, mechanical ingenuity, and tenacious drive Kircher kept on the cutting edge of the ski resort industry. He was never one to follow but rather preferred to set the bar for the competition. “Everett was years ahead of everyone when it came to developing and operating a ski resort, Stein Eriksen, USSSHF class of 1982, said of Kircher in an interview with SKI magazine.
Eric Bergoust joined the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team’s aerial squad in 1990 and went on to become a two-time World Champion, three-time U.S. Champion, and four-time Olympian. He holds Olympic Gold from the Nagano Games in 1998, several U.S. aerial’s gold medals, world championship gold and silver medals and numerous other honors.
Bergoust started his interest in aerial skiing after watching a world cup event on ESPN in 1985. With a trampoline in his backyard just outside Missoula, Montana, it wasn’t long until he was working on the tricks himself. It is said that he was the first spectator through the event gates at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games to watch the aerial events. He retired from the sport in 2006 after the Torino Olympic Games.
Doug Lewis enjoyed a solid career with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team. A two time Olympian, he went the Sarajevo Olympic Games in 1984 and Calgary Olympic Games in 1988. He won two U.S. National Champion Downhill titles and was considered a fierce competitor. His bronze medal at the Bormio, Italy, World Championship race in 1985 was the first won by an American male skier at any World Championships in the downhill event.
After his race career 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.
Tom Jacobs competed in cross-country and Nordic combined at the Oslo Olympic Games in 1952 and went on to a successful career as coach for Colorado University’s ski team. He served as the Executive Director of the National Ski Association, today the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, in 1956-1957.
After moving back to the East in the 60’s, Jacobs and his wife started Reliable Racing Supply thus founding the first mail order ski race equipment distributor of its kind. The company became an international supplier of cutting-edge race products that raised the level of the racing environment for thousands of competitive skiers and organizations.
Mitch Cubberly invented the first multi-angle release ski biinding, called the Cubco, in the early 1950s. With an education in mechanical engineering, Cubberly created a safer ski experience for thousands of American skiers. 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. He also invented or developed mounting tools, special mounting screws and other ski shop supplies.
Cubberly did all this with a very unselfish attitude. Many products produced by him went unpatented and were made available to the ski industry. The only pieces he co-patented with Gordon Lipe were the Cubco toe and heel binding, and the Skidder.
The U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum Class of 2007 was selected by an independent selection committee of ski professionals, historians, and writers chaired by Paul Bousquet and voted on by a national panel.
The official induction of the six members of the class of 2007 will take place at the Snowsports Industries America annual trade show, Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, 2008, in Las Vegas. Kircher and Cubberly will be inducted posthumously. A welcome home event in their honor will be held at the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Ishpeming, Michigan in September 2008. The U.S. National Ski and Snowboard 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.