Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Picabo enters ski shrine Friday

Newest member of Ski Hall of Fame

Sun Valley's Picabo Street will enter the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame Friday, Jan. 28 in Michigan.

Street, 33, born in Triumph and raised skiing the slopes of Dollar and Baldy, was a 14-year member of the U.S. Ski Team who achieved her greatest triumphs in the mid-1990s.

In 1994 she won the Olympic downhill silver medal at Lillehammer, Norway and in 1995, Street claimed her first of two World Cup downhill championships. She won the Olympic super giant slalom gold in 1998.

Since her retirement, Picabo has dedicated time and energy to her foundation, Picabo's Street of Dreams, established for underprivileged youth.

The "Class of 2004" will be officially inducted Friday, Jan. 28 at the Peterson Auditorium of Ishpeming High School in Ishpeming, Mich.

Besides Street, the other inductees are Donna Weinbrecht of New Milford, N.J., Alan Engen of Salt Lake City and Thor Groswold of Denver.

Weinbrecht, a 14-year member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, was the first Olympic moguls women's champion. She had a lifetime record of 46 World Cup wins.

Engen, the 1960 intercollegiate alpine champion and the son of world ski jumping record holder Alf Engen, was responsible for the Alf Engen Ski Museum that opened in 2002 at Utah's Olympic Park. Groswold was a pioneer Rocky Mountain ski official.

The National Ski Association was organized by the Ishpeming Ski Club in 1904-05. In 1962 it was renamed the U.S. Ski Association, then in 1997 the name was again changed to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Since 1956, enshrines have been named to the Ski Hall of Fame, which was located at Ishpeming because that's where the National Ski Association was first formed. The 12-year-old Ski Hall of Fame building houses many displays including a World War II "Weasel" used as a groomer in the early years of Sun Valley.

During its first 51 years, the Ski Hall of Fame operated almost totally with volunteers, including top management, according to chairman-elect David Holli of Ishpeming.

Holli added, "Now we feel we are poised to assume a true position of national leadership in the field of preserving and promoting snow sports history with the hiring of a full-time professional."

At Friday's ceremony the Ski Hall of Fame will welcome its first full-time president and CEO—Thomas West, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. From 1987-2004, West was senior manager of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum in Calgary.

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