Thursday, July 9, 2020
Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame Expands to Encompass Skating, Hockey and More
The 2012 class of inductees posed with their plaques outside the Regional History Museum.
Monday, December 30, 2019


Wanted: Nominations for inductees into the Sun Valley Winter Sports Hall of Fame.

And this year what was formerly known as the Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame has been expanded beyond Alpine and Nordic skiing to include Snowboarding, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey and Ice Skating.

The new round of inductees follows a hiatus of a few years. The Hall of Fame now hopes to induct new members every two years.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with the important Hall of Fame project after too long of a hiatus,” said Mary Tyson, director of Regional History for Ketchum’s Community library. “The announcement of the awards will coincide with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame awards ceremony, which is scheduled to take place in Sun Valley in March 2020.

Nominations are being accepted through Jan. 15. The public is invited to submit a nominee’s name on a nomination form, which is available on the library’s website at

Forms are also available at the library adult circulation desk, in the just-completed Betty Olsen Carr Reading Room and at the Regional History Museum in Ketchum’s Forest Service Park.

The museum, where Hall of Fame inductees’ plaques are displayed, is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The Hall of Fame started in 2010 as the Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame. The nomination committee will be looking for athletes who displayed excellence in their sport with an emphasis on giving back to the support and/or the community.

The nominee’s sport doesn’t necessarily have to have been done in this area. And nominations can be made posthumously.

The committee will endeavor to choose at least three people during each induction period. And it will attempt to pick nominees from different eras.

Past inductees include Olympic medalist Picabo Street; Chuck Ferries, the first American to win the European classic Hahnenkamm slalom at Kitzbuhel, Austria, and an Olympic alpine racer in 1960 and 1964. Also, Christin Cooper, who won a silver medal in the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo. And the late Bill Janss, who owned Sun Valley from 1964 to 1977, during which he developed the Warm Springs side of Baldy and Seattle Ridge. Janss made the 1940 Olympic team only to see the games cancelled due to war.

Others include Bobbie Burns, credited with pioneering freestyle skiing; Nelson Bennett, who developed a toboggan to ferry injured skiers off the mountain; Phil Puchner, a member of the 10th Mountain Division; Leif Odmark, former head coach of the U.S. Men’s Olympic cross-country team and founder of the Sun Valley Nordic Ski School; Rob Keisel, who started the Nordic program for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and Kevin Swigert, a co-founder of the Boulder Mountain Tour.

The 2012 inductees included biathlete Ntala Skinner; Bill and Annie Vanderbilt, who brought the first Piston Bully groomer to the valley; Dick Durrance, the only skier to win Sun Valley’s Harriman Cup three times; Jenny Busdon who led the charge to save Galena lodge; Charley French, who developed the Scott ski boot; Warren Miller, who launched his film career in Sun Valley; 1976 and 1980 Olympic racer Pete Patterson; 1952 Olympian Jannette Burr Johnson, who was actress Lucille Ball’s double in “Lucy Goes to Sun Valley;” Michel Rudigoz, who coached the U.S. Men’s Alpine Team and the U.S. Women’s Ski Team, and Hans Muehlegger, former Snowsports Director for Sun Valley.

The 2014 inductees were Sun Valley Ski Education Co-founder Jack Simpson, former Sun Valley Ski School Director Sigi Engl, and Muffy Davis, who won a slew of Paralympic medals as a monoskier and hand cyclist.

Another class included Muffy Ritz, who founded the VAMPS Nordic Women’s program, which has fielded nearly 200 women some years; Sun Valley Head Nordic Coach Rick Kapala; Bob Smith, who created a double lens goggle that didn’t fog ; Bob Rosso, who helped start the Sun Valley Nordic ski team, in addition to volunteering more than 20 years with BCRD to create the Harriman Trail and other amenities, and Jack Reddish, a 1948 and 1952 Olympic alpine ski racer known as “Red Dog.’

Other inductees include 1984 Olympic downhiller Maria Maricich; three-time Nordic Olympian Jon Engen; Don and Gretchen Fraser, the first American to win an Olympic alpine ski medal; Jimmy Griffith, who made the Olympic team only to lose his life in a training run beforehand; Nordic Olympian Alison Keisel; Teresa Heinz, whose donation galvanized the fight to save Galena lodge, and Bob Disbrow and Kim Kawaguchi.

Sun Valley Resort’s Carol and Earl Holding have also been honored for the many things they did to turn Sun Valley into a world-class alpine and Nordic playground.


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