Ski writer

John Hitchcock
Passing Date: March 8, 2019

  John Cleveland Hitchcock, 93, of Williamstown, Massachusetts, died in his sleep on March 8. Hitchcock grew up in Windsor, Massachusetts, graduating from Dalton High School in 1943. The next day, at age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and saw combat as a scout with the 42nd (Rainbow) Division....


Dan Jenkins
Passing Date: March 7, 2019

Dan Jenkins, 90, a sportswriter who covered ski racing for Sports Illustrated from 1963 to 1972, died March 7 in Fort Worth, Texas, after a long illness and a broken hip. A specialist in golf and college football, and not himself a skier, Jenkins brought a unique style and voice to skiing during...

Sales rep

Fred Merchant
Passing Date: March 3, 2019

Alfred "Fred" Merchant, of Queensbury, New York, passed away March 3 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. It was his 83rd birthday. Merchant  grew up  in Amsterdam, and graduated from Amsterdam High  School. and graduated in 1959 from St  Lawrence University, where he was a member of the...

Activist for disabled sports

Dollie Armstrong
Passing Date: February 21, 2019

Dollie Cummings Armstrong, a founder of the SkiForAll Foundation and mother of 1984 Olympic GS gold medalist Deb Armstrong, died February 21 at age 84. Born in Florida, Dollie Cummings grew up in Woodburn, Oregon and graduated from Willamette University in 1957. She married Hugh Armstrong and the...

Broadcaster, "Voice of the Hahnenkamm"

Michael Horn
Passing Date: February 16, 2019

Michael Killisch von Horn, known in the skiing world as Michael Horn, died February 16, 2019 after a brief illness, at age 78. Best know abroad as the “Voice of the Hahnenkamm,” von Horn was a local official, serving on Kitzbuehel’s town council, as deputy mayor, and as a leader of the chamber of...

Spokesman for Altai skiing

Ayiken Jiashan
Passing Date: February 8, 2019

Ayiken Jiashan, 41, the translator and guide who became the leading spokesperson for traditional skiing culture in the Altai Mountains and archaeological research into the origins of skiing, died February 8, apparently of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. An ethnic Kazakh from the Tian Shan...

Early U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame president

John Norman Pontti
Passing Date: February 7, 2019

John Norman Pontti Early U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame president   U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame pioneer and president John Norman Pontti died on February 7, 2019 at the age of 82 in Marquette, Michigan.   Born in 1936 in Negaunee, Michigan, Pontii competed in Nordic combined as a high school...

Flawed ski jumping superstar

Matti Nykänen
Passing Date: February 3, 2019

Matti Nykänen, the Finnish ski jumping hero, died February 3, 2019, at age 55, reportedly in a diabetic coma. Between 1981 and 1989 Nykänen won four Olympic gold medals (one in 1984, three in 1988), 46 World Cup events, five World Cup championships and five World Championship gold medals. An...

Aspen official, restaurateur, philanthropist

Werner Kuster
Passing Date: January 21, 2019

Werner F. Kuster, 93, longtime owner of Aspen’s Red Onion, died January 21 in Tucson. Born into a hotelier family in Berlingen, Switzerland, Kuster apprenticed at age 14 to a pastry chef in Lucern. He learned to ski while working in resort hotels in St. Mortiz. After a year as a baker in the Swiss...

Olympian, Lange exec, coach

Sandy Shellworth Hildner
Passing Date: January 10, 2019

Sandra Shellworth Hildner, a U.S. national champion in slalom and GS, and 1968 Olympian, died January 10, 2019, of cancer, at age 74. Sandy grew up in Boise, Idaho, racing at Bogus Basin. At the University of Colorado she raced on Bob Beattie’s team, winning the US slalom championship in 1963 and,...