Bode Miller, Andrew Weibrecht inducted into Hall of Fame
Two-time Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht and six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller were inducted into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame earlier this month in Salt Lake City, Utah, in front of hundreds of attendees.
Tom Kelly, who served as Vice President of Communications for U.S. Ski & Snowboard for 32 years, was also inducted. A total of eight skiing and snowboarding pioneers, athletes and sport builders were among those inducted.
Though Miller was unable to attend, the most successful male alpine ski racer in American history's presence was palpable as Hall of Famer Dan Egan was the emcee as stories were shared on the big screen about Miller's unorthodox style and the legacy he left. New Hampshire's Miller, captured the attention of the world with his incredible athletic balance and ability to produce jaw-dropping performances on skis, including skiing up on the fence on a left-footer at the famed Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel, Austria in 2008. Raised in an electricity-free home, the two-time World Cup overall champion, four-time World Champion and six-time Olympic medalist is one of the most prolific international athletes in winter sports history.
“I always tried to ski in a way that inspired myself and ski racing fans, and I appreciate this support from the industry," said Miller of his nomination.
Weibrecht took up skiing after he begged his parents to let him join older brother Jonathan at the 1980 Olympic mountain of Whiteface, New York. From a kid swinging on his parents’ chandeliers at their luxury Mirror Lake Inn and Resort to becoming a two-time Olympic super-G medalist, Weibrecht became one of the most exhilarating ski racers to watch kick out of the start gate.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the Ski Hall of Fame," said Weibrecht. "t’s a tremendous honor and I’m very excited that the voting commission felt my accomplishments worthy of recognition, especially within such an amazing group of ski industry powerhouses. I was always lucky enough to be joined by Bode on my Olympic podiums, so it almost seems fitting that we will be inducted together. I am truly honored to be a part of such a prestigious induction class, across the board.”
Weibrecht was present at the induction, surrounded by his brother Jon, wife Denja, and friends who had an impact on his career. In his speech, he thanked U.S. Ski & Snowboard for the 16 years of support provided, and noted the importance of the Team as a "family on the road" and one in Park City, Utah, where he spent a lot of time training at the Center of Excellence. Weibrecht received a standing ovation after his speech.
As VP of communications for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Kelly worked tirelessly to promote the athletes and their sports to the mass media. Throughout his career, he was active within the USOC and International Ski Federation, including 14 years as chairman of the FIS PR and Mass Media Committee.
Kelly was the final speaker of the evening, and delivered an emotional and passion-filled acceptance speech recounting Olympic, World Championship and World Cup memories from his 32 years with the organization, culminating with the most poignant memory of his career - Olympic gold by Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) - who teamed up to win the first gold medal for the United States in cross country skiing at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"I've been fortunate in my career to work with some remarkable athletes and to engage others by telling their story,” Kelly said. “Skiing has been a passion of mine since I was seven years old and it is an honor to be included in the Hall of Fame."
The annual U.S. Ski & Snowboard induction honors not only athletes but industry icons, innovators and inventors with lifelong national and international achievements in all facets of snowsport. With the legacy of the 2002 Winter Games and the long lineage of celebrated athletes, Park City Mountain provided a spectacular backdrop for Snowsport History Celebration events culminating with the induction ceremony.
Among the eight inductees were the late Tom Sims, inventor of the “skiboard”, William Jensen nationally renowned resort operator, and the late Don Henderson, a pioneer of ski racing, Kristen Ulmer, known as the first female extreme skier and Hilary Engisch-Klein a world-dominating freestyle skier.