Cross country racer, 10th Mountain veteran

Passing Date: 
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall, a mainstay of the American cross country ski racing community, died December 30, 2017, at age 98.

Raised in a large family in Mexico, Maine, he skied in cross country races while attending Stevens High School. With his older brother Charles “Slim” Broomhall, he was named to the U.S. Olympic squad for 1940, which of course was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II.

Both brothers joined the 10th Mountain Division, and Slim lost an eye fighting in Italy. While training in Michigan and Wisconsin, in 1943 Chummy met Lempi Torkko, and after the war they were married. The couple settled in Rumford, Maine.

Chummy competed in the Olympics in 1948 and 1952 and in the FIS Nordic World Championships, held in Rumford in 1951. He served as Technical Advisor and Chief of Race for the Nordic events at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, and as Chief of Course for Nordic events at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Chummy served as an honorary volunteer at age 82. He donated the land on which to build the Black Mountain Ski Area, which has four times hosted the U.S. National Cross Country Championships. In 1981 he was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, and in 2003 to the  Maine Ski Hall of Fame.

Chummy is survived by three children and six grandchildren, among them Reagan Carey, a member of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team that won silver at the 2014 Olympics and gold at the 2018 Winter Games.

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