Friday, January 31, 2014

Mountain Express: Hall of Fame Honors Sun Valley's Skiing Legacy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 9:33 AM

As a team of seven Idahoans head to Sochi, Russia, in preparation for next week's opening of the Winter Olympic Games, Sun Valley took a few moments Jan. 29 to honor several individuals, some of them posthumously, who helped the Wood River Valley carve out its place in skiing history.

This morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that this year's honorees were enshrined during the fifth annual Ski Hall of Fame ceremony, hosted by the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society.

The inductees are:

Alison Owen: the only female member of the 1966 U.S. Nordic junior team. The Mountain Express reports that from the moment Owen was allowed to ski alongside males on the U.S. team, there has a been a women's division at U.S. national cross-country ski events. Owen won eight U.S. national titles and became a coach at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

Bob Disbrow and Kim Kawaguchi: The pair have provided critical financial support to the Ketchum-Sun Valley ski community since the 1990s and are actively involved with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

Don and Gretchen Fraser were inducted posthumously. They both competed for the 1940 U.S. Olympic team, and Gretchen won the Olympic gold in slalom in 1948—the first American gold medal in skiing.

Earl and Carol Holding were honored for their ownership and management of Sun Valley Co. and all of its assets, including the Sun Valley Lodge and Inn and the Sun Valley Pavilion.

Maria Maricich was an Olympic downhiller during the 1984 winter games and was ranked as the top downhiller in the United States that year.

Joe Engen headed up the Sun Valley Masters cross-country ski program for more than a decade. He's also a three-time Olympian.

The Teresa Heinz family was also honored for helping to save Galena Lodge, which came close to closing in the early 1990s due to financial troubles. Teresa Heinz also helped the community create an endowment to operate the lodge.

Jimmy Griffith was Ketchum's first native to be named to an Olympic ski team, competing in 1952. But while training for the games, he suffered a fatal ski accident. Griffith was elected to the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1971.

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