www.vtskiandride.com
July 6, 2010

Larry Damon

Lawrence Snow Damon, known as Larry, competed in four Olympics 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968 as a cross country skier and biathlete. As a four event skier at Burlington High School, in 1951 he won the State Slalom Championship and came in second in the cross country championship. While skiing for UVM, he won UVM's first NCAA cross country ski championship. After competing in the 1956 Olympics, he enrolled in the Army where he competed in biathlon. In 1959, he won the pre-Olympic North American biathlon. He competed in biathlon in 1960 Olympics and again in cross country skiing in 1964 and 1968. Retiring from skiing in 1970, he returned to Vermont and began teaching at Trapp Family Lodge, where he continues to pass on his love of the sport to countless visitors.

Hilary Engisch

Hilary Engisch Klein, originally from Williston, Vermont, and now living in Stowe, Vermont, achieved much fame at UVM athlete for her soccer ability. She scored a record 35 career goals. However, she was equally successful in the emerging sport of mogul skiing. A four time Women's World Cup Moguls champion, she started amassing titles in 1980 in the sport's first year on the FIS schedule. She won 35 world cup victories in 5 years. In 1984 she was the National Mogul Champion, USSA Athlete-of-the Year, and US Sportcasters' Sportswoman of the Year. Skiing Magazine called her the "greatest female mogul skier alive." She retired in 1987 after co-authoring the preeminent freestyle book Skiing Freestyle in 1986.

Bob Gray

Bob Gray grew up in Putney, Vermont, where the legendary John Caldwell coached the cross country ski team. He went onto University of Colorado at Boulder, and started competing internationally in 1962. He was a member of the US Nordic Ski Team from 1962-1974, and competed on the 1968 and 1972 Olympic and 1962, 1966, 1970 and 1974 FIS Nordic teams. From 1963-66, he instructed at the Marine's Mountain Leadership School in California. During his long career, he won national titles in the 15km and 50km and was the top ranked American man in 1973. He opened the famous West Hill Shop in Putney in the early 1970s and the Green Mountain Touring Center in Randolph in 1977. Gray mentored many aspiring skiers through his coaching and long time involvement with the sport.

Johannes von Trapp

The story of Johannes von Trapp's family has been well-documented, but his contributions to Nordic skiing's development should not go unrecognized. Growing up on the Trapp Family Lodge property, Johannes spent his time exploring. His Norwegian college roommate introduced him to ski touring. When, in the mid 60s, he was looking for ways to improve the Lodge's occupancy, he thought he could develop a niche market by purchasing some cross country skis and bringing a Norwegian ski instructor to Trapps to drive the program. Per Sorlie, the first program director, came in 1968 and helped visitors to the Lodge have a good time skiing; this was the beginning of the first commercial cross country ski center in the United States. A forest ecologist by training, von Trapp still manages the property and the business with help from his family.

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