Skiing – Click on Inductee to view Biography
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- Jean Saubert - Skiing
Jean Saubert grew into the state’s sports lore from the slopes of Cascades to become an Olympic hero.
Born in Roseburg in 1942, Saubert learned to ski and then race at Hoodoo Butte, Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor before graduating from Lakeview High in 1960.
She reached the U.S. Ski team in 1962, placing sixth in the Giant Slalom at the World Championships in Chamonix, France. The following two years, she won national titles in the downhill and giant slalom, and also won the slalom in ’64 while a coed at Oregon State University.
At the ’64 Olympic Winter Games, Saubert, won the silver in the giant slalom and a bronze in the slalom under U.S. coach Bob Beattie.
In 1966, Saubert earned a degree from Oregon State in education and then earned a master’s degree at Brigham Young University.
Saubert was inducted to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1976, and Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. She died in 2007 at age 65.
- Gretchen Fraser - Skiing
Gretchen Fraser earned a spot in national and then Oregon sports history as an Olympic champion and champion of social causes.
Born in 1919, Fraser, at age 28, became the first U.S. skier to win an Olympic gold medal in the slalom during the Olympic Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland. She also won a silver medal in the alpine skiing combined, which involved a downhill and slalom competition.
Fraser, who had served as a body double for actress Sonja Henne in two movies prior to World War II, became a media darling during the ’48 Games with her bright attitude, big smile and pig tails. Her face adorned the front of Wheaties boxes for five years.
A resident of Vancouver, Wash., and Sun Valley, Idaho, Fraser spent nearly 30 years in Oregon helping wounded and disabled war veterans become involved in skiing or other athletic activities. She is one of the pioneers of adaptive skiing, having become involved in rehabilitation of soldiers during World War II. She helped found the Flying Outriggers ski club in Portland.
Fraser is an inductee in the National Ski Hall of Fame, the University of Puget Sound Hall of Fame, Washington Sports Hall of Fame and Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame.
She was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. She passed away in 1994 in Sun Valley, Idaho, at age 75.
- Hjalmar Hvam - Skiing
Hjalmar Hvam left a legacy for Oregon as a skier on the slopes of Mount Hood in the 1930s, and a legacy on the sport he treasured as an inventor.
Hvam, born in Norway in 1902, won a ski jumping competition at age 12, but moved to North America in 1923. He found his way to Portland in 1927 and soon co-founded the Cascade Ski Club. In 1931, he and club members Arne Stene and Andre Roch skied down Mount Hood from the summit, and are credited as being the first to accomplish that feat.
As a competitor, Hvam won the Nordic Combined title at the U.S. Championships in 1932, and qualified for the 1936 Olympic Winter Games, but did not compete due to not having his citizenship papers. In 1936, Hvam won the Golden Rose Ski Classic at Timberline, which continues to be billed as the oldest ski race in the nation – even though it’s a summer race. He won in 1937, too.
After suffering a broken leg from a fall after his second win, Hvam developed the Saf-Ski binding that would allow a ski boot to safely release from the ski during a fall. The design became popular after World War II and he sold and rented the bindings into the 1970s through ski shops he operated in Portland and on Mount Hood.
Hvam made a name for himself as a coach as well, leading the U.S. Nordic Combined team at the 1952 Olympic Winter Games.
Hvam was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1967 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Bill Johnson - Skiing
Bill Johnson grew up in Sandy, Oregon and skied Mount Hood. He was the first American to win a World Cup downhill, and also the first American Ranked No. 1 in the F.I.S. men’s downhill. He captured a gold medal in the downhill in the 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
During his career he won the European Cup downhill and combined the Aspen World Cup downhill, and the Whistler World Cup downhill, and was U.S. National downhill champion twice, before turning professional in 1990.