- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The 1955 skiing season wound to a climax at Stowe, Vt., March 18-20 when Europe's hottest racers took on the U.S. National champions and Olympic candidates. In the women's division, the Americans clearly proved that they have long since caught up with European competition, as Andy Lawrence, Katy Rodolph and Skeeter Werner finished 1, 2, 3.
But in the Stowe meet, Anderl Molterer (below) of Austria demonstrated just as clearly that the best male skier in the world was still a European. Molterer won the slalom, giant slalom and combined at Stowe, then moved out to Sun Valley to win the combined at the Harriman Cup.
However, no one had to feel too badly about losing to Molterer, who had already won the International Mont Blanc Ski Week in France, and the Austrian national championship, and was generally conceded to be the finest skier in amateur competition. Besides, there was plenty of consolation in the dozens of other races where the Molterers, not to mention the Lawrences, Werners, et al. did not compete. At the NCAA championships, for example, Middlebury's fine four-way skier Les Streeter took home the title of Skimeister. At the Junior championships in Whitefish, Mont., Penny Pitou of Gilford, N.H. won the downhill and slalom and later earned an alternate spot on the 1956 Olympic team.
NEWCOMERS ON THE JUMPS
There were some exciting newcomers among the jumpers, too. Rudy Maki, 19, of Ishpeming, Mich., won the national title with jumps of 270 and 259 feet, then broke the Olympic tryout record with a leap of 300 feet at Iron Mountain, Mich. Two other teen-agers, Ragnar Ulland, 17, and Dick Rahoi, 19, made the team at Iron Mountain. These three, together with veterans Art Devlin, Roy Sherwood and Bill Olson, make up the most promising team of jumpers the U.S. has entered in international competition.
It was an exciting winter, too, for the hundreds of thousands of non-racers who make up the backbone and flesh of the sport. The snow came early and deep, and it held through the winter. Half the resorts in America had continuous skiing from December right on through Easter vacation, and 75% of the areas lost only a few days.
In the East the infant Princeton Ski Bowl on Bearpen Mountain in New York reported 24 inches of snow at Thanksgiving. As early as mid-December, Alta, Utah, had three feet. Aspen, Donner Summit, Calif. and the Reno Snow Bowl had even more.
Right behind the snow came hordes of skiers, and they kept coming until last week the resort owners gleefully reported their most prosperous season. The most fortunate, perhaps, was Alec Cushing of Squaw Valley, who, besides catering to more than 100,000 skiers, won the nomination as U.S. candidate for the 1960 Olympic site.
Stowe, Vt. and North Conway, N.H. also reported more than 100,000 skiers, as did Mt. Hood, Ore. Bromley in Vermont counted 95,000. Snoqualmie, outside Seattle, got good snow and 94,000 skiers. Alta reported 84,000.
Not far behind the established resort owners, Walter Schoenknecht, free-spending head of the brand new Mt. Snow area in southern Vermont, scrambled like a big-city commuter to get on the gravy train. After shelling out nearly $1 million Schoenknecht counted 40,000 skiers for the year—close to a record for an opening season. And last week he stoutly maintained he would turn loose another $2,500,000 during the next four to seven years.