Racer, Ski Company Executive

Passing Date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Frank Newton Hurt, 82, died on March 15, 2018 in Gilford, New Hampshire. He grew up in Sanbornton, New Hampshire and captained his state-championship ski team at Laconia High School, and then, as a top four-event skier, captained the Middlebury College team. Graduating in 1958 with a degree in business, he joined the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant but continued to race, and was an alternate on the U.S. Alpine Ski Team for the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley. 

Hurt’s first job after leaving the Army was as a sales rep for Lund water skis (Lund was a corporate sibling of Northland), but he soon joined the Head Ski sales force. By the early ‘70s he was general manager of Dynamic’s U.S. distribution. (In the mid-1960s, the French Dynamic factory was the first to use “wet-wrap” or torsion box technology, and was famous for equipping the dominant French ski racers of the late ‘60s, including Jean Claude Killy). 

In 1977 Hurt joined Atomic to set up its U.S. distribution subsidiary. He spent the next 20 years as general manager of Atomic USA. During his tenure there, the Austrian Atomic factory acquired Dynamic and a number of other brands, including Koflach boots (1988) and Ess ski bindings. The boots and bindings were rebranded as Atomic products and Hurt supervised their introduction to the United States. Atomic became one of the world’s leading brands, and was acquired out of bankruptcy by the Finnish company Amer Sports, in 1994.

In retirement, Hurt returned to running and cross-country skiing at the highest levels of Masters competition. In 2014, at the Masters Cross Country World Championships at Pillarseetal, Austria, he finished 16th in the 10k Free and 18th in the 15k Free in the M10 category (ages 76 to 80), and he ran the annual Mt. Washington Road Race, to the summit, until 2015, at age 78. —S.M.

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