World Champion ski racer Daron Rahlves, one of the world’s most noted big mountain skiers, the late Shane McConkey, and iconic skiing legend Glen Plake, are among a roster of six skiers and builders named as inductees to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010. The announcement was made by Hall of Fame Chairman, Bernie Weichsel of Waltham, MA.
They will be joined by Paralympic medalist and World Champion Muffy Davis, U.S. champion from the 1960s and ’70s and 1972 Olympian Bobby Cochran, and noted sport builder and Sun Valley owner Earl Holding. The class will be inducted on Apr. 2 at Sun Valley, ID as part of a week long celebration of skiing history including Sun Valley’s 75th season as a major ski resort.
“This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include some great diversity in contributions to our sport,” said Weichsel. “Each shares in common a great passion for skiing and each has made a tremendous difference in bringing recognition to this lifelong sport enjoyed by millions around the world.”
Bobby Cochran is the third member of the famous skiing family from Vermont to enter the Hall of Fame, joining sisters Barbara (Class of ’76) and Marilyn (Class of ’78). Through the 1960s and ’70s Cochran displayed exemplary dedication, discipline and excellence in state, national, collegiate, international and professional ski racing. He became, at the age of 16, one of the youngest skiers to be selected to the U.S. Ski Team and enjoyed a six-year career (1968-74) before moving on to the World Professional Tour. His career of success started early when as a high school freshman he won the U.S. Junior Championship in giant slalom in 1967. He went on to win seven U.S. titles between 1969 and 1973. He also added an NCAA downhill title to his resume. He won the prestigious Roch Cup downhill in 1971. In 1973, his best season, he became the first U.S. male skier to win a World Cup giant slalom and reached the podium in three out of four skiing disciplines. The highlight of that year was his winning the Hahnenkamm combined. Over three seasons from 1970 to 1973, Cochran achieved 22 top 10 placements on the World Cup tour including four podium finishes.
Muffy Davis grew up racing with Olympic champion Picabo Street in Sun Valley until a ski racing accident in 1989 ended her career as an able-bodied skier. She elected to return to her academic studies completing a degree at Stanford before returning to the slopes after attending Hall of Famer Sarah Will’s adaptive skiing camp in 1995. Thus began an outstanding career resulting in four Paralympic medals (a bronze and three silvers), a World Championship gold in 2000 and back-to-back World Cup overall titles in 2000 and 2001. During her racing career she reached the podium 20 times. She also successfully completed first wheelchair ascents of Mount Shasta and Pike’s Peak.
The sole sport builder in this class, Earl Holding is known in the business world as the owner of Sinclair Oil and the Little America chain of hotels. But, in 1977, he purchased Sun Valley and began a revitalization and beautification program to restore the historic resort that in 1936 was among the first to be built in the United States. This investment program included the planting of over 7,000 trees, installing seven new detachable quad lifts and the world’s largest automated snowmaking system. New lodges and other improvements were made to improve the skier and family experience, including an eight passenger gondola to the historic Round House Lodge. A Salt Lake City native, Holding played a key role in bringing the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to that city and contributed significantly to its success. He purchased and developed Snowbasin into a world class ski area which hosted the men’s and women’s Olympic downhill, combined and super G events.
The late Shane McConkey has been called the most influential skier of his generation for popularizing free skiing and encouraging the development of equipment so more skiers could enjoy back country and deep powder conditions. In 1993 he won the World Pro Mogul Tour and added the South American Freeskiing championship in 1994. The next year he claimed the U.S. Freeskiing championship and twice won, in 1996 and 1998, the International Freeskier Association World Tour Championship. He was a leader in bringing “fat skis” to the slopes. In 2002, he helped develop the first reverse camber and reverse side cut ski, the Volant Spatula, and four years later introduced the K2 Pontoon. During his career he was featured in 26 films about skiing and became a world leader in ski base jumping. He died in a ski base jumping accident on March 26, 2009.
With his signature multi-colored Mohawk hairstyle and his unrelenting enthusiasm for skiing, Glen Plake is certainly the best-known and recognizable skier in the world. The three time World Hot Dog skiing champion has become the symbol of the fun, joy and spirit of skiing. His outstanding ability on skis and personality have made him a skiing film star and many of the films that he has appeared in are now classics in the industry including “The Blizzard of Aahhh’s,” “Fistful of Moguls,” “License to Thrill,” “The Edge of Never” and this year’s “Legend of Aahhh’s.” His television and magazine appearances as well as commentary work is seemingly endless. He continues to promote skiing at all levels from his high altitude expeditions around the world to his “Down Home Tour” where Glen and his wife Kimberly ski at local areas around the United States.
Daron Rahlves retired from the U.S. Alpine Ski Team in 2006 as the single most decorated skier in the downhill with nine World Cup victories to his credit. Among his victories was his 2003 win at the historic and prestigious Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuhel Austria. Two years earlier he had stunned the highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic crowd at St Anton, Austria by beating local heroes Stephan Eberharter and Hermann Maier for the World Championship gold medal in the super G. He capped his World Championship resume with a bronze medal in the giant slalom in 2005. His career record includes four U.S. titles and 16 World Cup podiums. An outstanding athlete he also holds the 1993 Expert World Championship title in jet skiing and has won many extreme skiing events. After leaving the alpine team Rahlves became one of the world’s best ski cross athletes, leading the USA in the newest Olympic sport at the Vancouver Olympics, his fourth as a U.S. Olympian.
The Hall of Fame Induction will be held on Saturday, Apr. 2 in Sun Valley and will cap a week of festivities. The week will include the annual gathering of the International Skiing History Association as well as a series of industry reunions.
“Our annual induction ceremony has grown considerably the last two years with successful events at Park City Resort and Beaver Creek,” said Weichsel. “This year’s celebration will be even bigger and a great way to showcase these amazing heroes of our sport.”
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is located in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of organized skiing in America. Its mission is to provide respected, permanent national recognition for excellence in achievement in skiing and snowboarding. The class of 2010 was elected by a National Voting Panel of over 100 electors chosen for their knowledge and enthusiasm for snow sports. The six new inductees will bring the Honor Roll to 374 individuals recognized since 1956.
For more information on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, including Skiing Heritage Week in Sun Valley, contact the Hall at 906.485.6323.