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Ray Grass: 4 Utahns inducted into Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame

SHARE Ray Grass: 4 Utahns inducted into Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame

PARK CITY — Four names were added to the list of inductees into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame during a ceremony held Thursday evening at the Alf Engen Ski Museum at the Utah Olympic Park. All four were Utahns that greatly contributed to skiing, especially here in Utah.

“Having all four names coming from Utah is a real honor, especially having each name representing the four different categories,’’ said Connie Nelson, executive director of the Alf Engen Museum Foundation.

The Utahns honored included Melvin Dalebout (ski sport innovator), David Hanscom (inspirational), Karen Huntoon-Miller (competitor) and Meeche White (ski pioneer).

Nelson said there was a long list of names on each of this year’s final ballots, “which make it even more impressive that all four were from Utah.” This was the 14th year of balloting for the Ski Hall of Fame nominees. Final voting was done by knowledgeable winter sports historians and enthusiasts from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

The four new inductees brings the total number of recipients in the Will and Jean Pickett Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame to 66.

Dalebout, who died in 2014, was a native of Salt Lake City who invented the first hard-shell, foam-fitting ski boot in 1969, appropriately named the “Daleboot.’’ He also introduced the removable boot sole, the first canted ski-boot sole, a first stiff-top racing boot and a new ski pole design.

Hanscom played a major role in introducing Utah’s nordic skiing opportunities to the world. He founded the Utah Nordic Ski Association, was instrumental in starting the Wasatch Cross Country Citizens Series and played a role in the selection of Soldier Hollow for the 2002 Olympic events. Hanscom was also an official in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and co-authored the backcountry skiing guidebook, “Wasatch Tours.’’

Huntoon-Miller helped elevate the new sport of “hot dogging’’ or mogul skiing into what has become a popular event in the Winter Olympics. She initially began skiing back East, but moved to Park City in 1973. She was a five-time world mogul champion, and in 1975, was the Women’s World Cup Overall Champion. Huntoon-Miller appeared in many skiing movies and special segments showcasing her skills in the air and on ski bumps.

White co-founded the National Ability Center in Park City in 1985, which serves individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities. It is today recognized as one of the largest programs of its kind in the world and has helped start similar programs in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, Italy and Poland. The center has grown from providing 45 ski lessons annually to now giving 25,000 lessons annually in 12 different sports.

In 2002, some of the first people inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame include Junior Bounous, Zane Doyle, the three Engen brothers Alf, Sverre and Corey, Gretchen Fraser, Averell Harriman and Joseph Quinney.

Plaques of all 66 recepients are enshrined in Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center/Alf Engen Ski Museum at the Utah Olympic Park.