Legendary Marty Hall Inducted into U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
On April 14, legendary Marty Hall was inducted into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 at Squaw Valley, Calif., site of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. The mood was wonderful and electric, with many tributes at the induction dinner attended by approximately 500 people, including many skiing notables.
In addition to Hall, the other honoured inductees included Hermann Gollner, Mike and Steve Marolt, Thomas Weisel, Eddie Ferguson, Shaun Palmer and the late speed-skier Steve Mckinney. For Hall and his wife, Kathy, it was a remarkable and memorable journey, and a special walk down memory lane, as Squaw Valley is where Hall’s career began.
A large contingent of “Marty fans” joined the festivities that began with a superb informal breakfast on the morning of the induction, hosted by Kathy and Hall. It was a chance for many fans to speak from the heart about Hall’s contribution to the sport – it was honest, and many laughs and tears were shared.
Among the contributors were Hall’s and Kathy’s family, but also luminaries of the Nordic sport, who traveled to share this special experience. His longtime friend Peter Davis spoke, as did 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympian Doug Peterson, Canadian colleagues Dave Wood and Toni Scheier, outgoing U.S. Ski & Snowboarding Vice-president Communications Director Tom Kelly, former athlete Alison Owen Bradley and broadcast announcer and commentator Peter Graves. A number of Bowdin College athletes also made the gathering, as did many fans from the University of New Hampshire.
Hall intersected many lives and was greatly respected for his drive, vision, dogged determination and was known as someone who always called them as he saw them. He continues to inspire many to this day.
Not only was he a respected coach for both the U.S. and Canadian ski teams, which he led to great success, but Hall also was the author of the award-winning book One Stride Ahead. His crowning achievement was Bill Koch’s 1976 Olympic silver medal, marking the historic first Games medal won by an American cross-country skier. This season, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall took home the first U.S. women’s Olympic cross-country-ski medal claiming gold in the Team Sprint at Pyeongchang 2018. Into his eighties, Hall still continues to be a relevant pundit of the sport he dearly loves.
It was a special few hours spent paying tribute to a man who has given his life to the sport. Hall was never the relaxed sort – his life was about skiing innovation and truth-seeking. Yes, he was a taskmaster, but for him, it was all about standards and helping athletes and colleagues achieve their very best.
People were Hall’s touchstone, and he really connected, making them think and prodding them to be better. We all feel lucky to be counted among those who experienced Hall’s magic and his passion for life and the sport.
Skitrax joins the ski community at large in wishing Marty and Kathy Hall the very best and thank them for their years of inspiration and contribution to the sport. – PG
Kathy and Marty Hall at the induction dinner for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Class of 2017 at Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games.