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Lives

Jackson Hole ski pioneer

Bill Saunders
Passing Date: September 13, 2019

William Dale Saunders, a cattle rancher who drove the development of ski racing in Jackson, Wyoming, died September 13 after a traffic accident near his home in Bondurant. He was 93. Born on a ranch in Jackson, Saunders grew up skiing the local hills. As a teen he was a rodeo cowboy, worked on...

Six-time Olympic biathlon medalist

Halvard Hanevold
Passing Date: September 3, 2019

Halvard Hanevold died September 3, 2019, at age 49, at home in Asker, a town on the west bank of the Oslo Fjord. In his competitive career he won six medals in the Winter Olympics, three of them gold (1998 Nagano, 2002 Salt Lake City, and 2010 Vancouver). In the Biathlon World Championships, he won...

Pioneering knee surgeon, ski team doc

John Feagin, MD
Passing Date: September 1, 2019

Dr. John Feagin, a pioneer of arthroscopic knee surgery who served as U.S. Ski Team physician during the 1992 Albertville Olympics, died September 1 at his home in Jackson, Wyoming, at age 85. A 1955 graduate of West Point, Feagin served two years as an artillery officer, then entered Duke...

10th Mountain vet, Vail volunteer

Sandy Treat, Jr.
Passing Date: September 1, 2019

Sanford Morris “Sandy” Treat Jr. died at Vail Health Medical Center September 1, at age 96. Raised in New York City, Treat learned to ski during winter vacations at Lake Placid. At Deerfield Academy he became fluent in Spanish and French, and raced on the first ski team. He was a freshman on the...

Olympic bronze medalist

Blanca Fernández Ochoa
Passing Date: August 24, 2019

Blanca Fernández Ochoa, bronze medalist in slalom at the 1992 Albertville Olympics, died August 24 in the mountains near Madrid, at age 56. Ochoa grew up in a family of ski racers, children of a ski school director. Five of the kids became Olympians, and her oldest brother Francisco won slalom gold...

Olympic and World Champion

Egon Zimmermann
Passing Date: August 23, 2019

Egon Norbert Zimmermann, 1962 World Champion in GS and 1964 gold medalist in downhill, died August 23 at age 80. He had long suffered multiple sclerosis. Born in 1939 in Lech-am-Arlberg, Zimmermann began skiing after World War II, at age 7, and won a number of school races without formal coaching....

Racer, instructor, Vail hotelier

Pepi Gramshammer
Passing Date: August 17, 2019

Pepi Gramshammer, the Austrian ski racer who became Vail’s premier hotelier, died August 17 at the Vail Valley Hospital. He was 87 years old and had recently suffered a series of strokes. Pepi grew up in Kufstein, Austria, training in nearby Innsbruck. He was named to the Austrian national team in...

Godfather of snowboarding

Sherman Poppen
Passing Date: July 31, 2019

Sherman Poppen, the Muskegon, Michigan businessman who invented the Snurfer, died July 31 at age 89. On Christmas Day of 1965, Poppen needed to get his daughters out of the house so that his pregnant wife, Nancy, could rest. He bolted together a pair of kids’ skis and encouraged them to ride the...

Journalist, publicist, politician

Ruth Lieder
Passing Date: July 15, 2019

Three-term Sun Valley mayor and ski resort publicist Ruth Lieder died on July 15 of natural causes with her beloved golden retriever, Jessie, by her side. She was 88. Lieder grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Smith College in 1953. She landed at Sports Illustrated magazine, covering ski...

Five-time biathlon and cross-country Olympian

Peter Lahdenpera
Passing Date: July 3, 2019

Pekka Johannes “Peter” Lahdenpera of Fort Collins, Colorado, a five-time Olympian in biathlon and cross country, died on July 3. Born December 29, 1935 in Helsinki, Finland, Lahdenpera came to the U.S. with his mother and siblings in 1948. They were following his father, Erkki Lahdenpera, an...

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