The Sun Valley Winter Sports Hall of Fame (SVWSHoF) honors the significant contributions of legendary local athletes and visionaries. The honorees have achieved in their sport or industry and have also given back to the Wood River Valley community. The sports categories are: Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Ice Hockey, Figure Skating, Snowboarding, and Freestyle Skiing. You can see the inductee plaques the Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History’s Regional History Museum in Forest Service Park. The Class of 2023 nomination period is open until August 31st. Click here to download the nomination form.
Class of 2021 Inductees
Lisa-Marie Allen, Olympic figure skater, choreographer, and coach.
K2 Demonstration Team, Pat Bauman, Bob Griswold, Charlie McWilliams, and Jim Stelling were the daring performers.
Lane Monroe, Skier, U.S. Ski Team coach, former Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Program Director and Head Alpine Coach.
John Weekes, Sun Valley Suns ice hockey architect, coach-manager, and player.
Class of 2019 Inductees
Graham Anderson, a significant contributor to the ski industry for seventy years, is also an inductee in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1984. He was a ski patroller and a long-time board member of the SVSEF.
Dick Dorworth is a down-hill world-record holder in the Diamond Sun race, coach, mountaineer, award-winning journalist, and author of four books. Also, he is an inductee in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, class of 2011.
Sonya Dunfield, a world champion figure skater, is also an inductee in both the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She was an elite coach in the Sun Valley figure skating training center for many years. She was awarded the Professional Skaters Association’s Shulman Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1982.
W. Averell Harriman, as Board Chairman of Union Pacific Railroad, created the Sun Valley Resort in 1936. He was responsible for the first chair lift on Dollar Mountain. Sun Valley ski racing earned its world-class reputation with a 1937 cup race named after him–the Harriman Cup. Harriman is also an inductee in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1969.
Bob Jonas, a pioneer in the backcountry ski industry, established five backcountry yurts in the eighties and nineties. Also, in 1998, he co-founded the Wood River Nordic and Backcountry Skiers Alliance of Idaho. So successful this alliance was, it helped to initiate the “Winter Snow Pact,” a valued skier/snowmobiler collaboration that went to win a “Spirit of Idaho” award.
Herman Maricich, head of the Sun Valley Skating School for many years, started the indoor ice rink in 1975. Using the new rink he launched the “Sun Valley on Ice” shows. And also, Maricich was instrumental in making Sun Valley a year round ice skating facility. This made it a destination for world-class ice skaters and consequently a much loved training center.
Doran Key, an accomplished athlete, was a beloved coach for Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation for over thirty years. Key was involved in Kindercup as the Head “D” Team Coach. Many Valley youngsters had her as a coach. Acknowledged for her years of coaching excellence, she was awarded the SVSEF Jack Simpson Dedicated Coaches Award in 2009.
Jim Savaria, one of the co-founders of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, has been a beloved coach for many years. He coached Olympians as well as taught kids at Rotarun when the rope-tow was first installed in the 50s. Savaria worked as a ski patrol and helped to develop safety protocols.
The SVWSHoF Class of 2019 induction ceremony was held online via Zoom in December, 2019.
Class of 2014 Inductees
Jack Simpson grew up herding cows at the family ranch in Wendell. He moved to Sun Valley in 1939 where he fell in love with skiing. He earned the nickname “Sonja” after he donned a blond wig to stand in as Sonja Henie’s skiing double in the movie “Sun Valley Serenade.” (Excerpted from Eye on Sun Valley, February 14, 2015.)
Simpson was a candidate for the national ski team, but his father talked him out of it, saying he wasn’t going to make any money there, noted longtime friend Jerry Edwards.
In the 1960s, Simpson established a junior racing program, which evolved into the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. The Foundation honored him several years ago by establishing the Jack Simpson Dedicated Coaches Award, presented annually to the coach that best exemplifies Simpson’s values.
Sigi Engl, a native of Kitzbuhel, became a ski instructor in Austria at 15. Used to winning ski races, he won the Italian championships in 1931–downhill and slalom. The Hahnenkahm combined and the Marmolata downhill were his 1935. In Austria, he won slalom and downhill championships twice before immigrating to the United States in 1937.
He came to Sun Valley to teach in 1939, winning Sun Valley’s prestigious Harriman Cup in 1941. In 1952, he became the director of the Sun Valley Ski School, after having served in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during World War II.
Sigi’s Bowl on Bald Mountain is a lasting tribute to his innovative instructional methods that vaulted Sun Valley’s ski school into international prominence. (Excerpted from Eye on Sun Valley, February 14, 2015.)
Muffy Davis was paralyzed from the chest down from an accident during training. She was a 16-year-old champion ski racer when this happened.
Marc Mast, a trainer who taught Muffy Davis how to ski again, spoke at the induction ceremony. He asked members of the audience to close their eyes and imagine they were sitting on a beach ball with a ski underneath it.
Then imagine you’re skiing the same downhill course that the Olympic racers skied at 70 miles per hour, he added. That’s was what it was like for Muffy racing in the Paralympics, where she earned a fistful of medals.
“(Ski Coach) Mike Brown said he had never seen anyone who could follow a line like Muffy. That goes to her intelligence and what the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation taught her,” he added. (Excerpted from Eye on Sun Valley, February 14, 2015.)