Leg­endary Marty Hall In­ducted into U.S. Ski and Snow­board Hall of Fame

SkiTrax - - Out In Front -

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.

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