Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ancient Skiers to award 2 Olympians

Group spending week in Sun Valley area

Express Staff Writer

Former Olympians Jannette Burr and Peter Kennedy stand in front of the 10th Mountain Division display at the Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum. They will be awarded the Ancient Skiers Sun Valley Sun Award on Friday. Photo by Willy Cook

A group of spry skiers are hitting the slopes in Sun Valley this week, racing one another during the day and partying together at night. They are members of the Ancient Skiers Club, formed in 1962 from a group of 100 skiers who had been skiing since before World War II. Many had been members of the Army's 10th Mountain Division.

Membership in the Ancient Skiers has since expanded to 1,000. Eligibility criteria for joining the club today is that a skier be at least 60 years old and ski in the Northwest.

About 250 Ancient Skiers are in Ketchum and Sun Valley this week. An awards banquet and dance Friday evening at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley will be held to honor winners of NASTAR races taking place this week on Dollar Mountain. The Ancient Skiers will also present the Ancient Skiers Sun Valley Sun Awards to former Olympians Jannette Burr and Peter Kennedy.


The annual Sun Awards are given in recognition of Ancient Skiers who have excelled and gained national and international recognition because of their ability and achievement in winter sports.

Burr, 83, competed as a skier in the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway. She won a bronze medal in the giant slalom at the World Championships in Are, Sweden, in 1954 and won the Diamond Harriman Pin five times for placing in the Harriman Races, a feat matched only by Olympic gold medalist Gretchen Fraser. In 1970, she was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

Kennedy and his sister Karol have the best record in world competition of any American pairs figure skaters. In 1950, they became the first Americans to win the world pairs title, and won a silver medal at the Oslo Olympics in 1952. They also were United States champions from 1947 to 1952. Kennedy retired from skating after competing in the 1952 Olympics and took up skiing.

On Thursday, Jan. 20, at 3 p.m. at the Sun Valley Opera House, famed mountaineer and Ancient Skier Lou Whittaker will give a video and slideshow presentation, "From Rainier to the Himalayas," detailing many highlights from his career as a climber and guide.

Tony Evans:

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