Spokesman for Altai skiing

Ayiken Jiashan
Passing Date: February 8, 2019

Ayiken Jiashan, 41, the translator and guide who became the leading spokesperson for traditional skiing culture in the Altai Mountains and archaeological research into the origins of skiing, died February 8, apparently of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. An ethnic Kazakh from the Tian Shan...

Early U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame president

John Norman Pontti
Passing Date: February 7, 2019

John Norman Pontti Early U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame president   U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame pioneer and president John Norman Pontti died on February 7, 2019 at the age of 82 in Marquette, Michigan.   Born in 1936 in Negaunee, Michigan, Pontii competed in Nordic combined as a high school...

Flawed ski jumping superstar

Matti Nykänen
Passing Date: February 3, 2019

Matti Nykänen, the Finnish ski jumping hero, died February 3, 2019, at age 55, reportedly in a diabetic coma. Between 1981 and 1989 Nykänen won four Olympic gold medals (one in 1984, three in 1988), 46 World Cup events, five World Cup championships and five World Championship gold medals. An...

Aspen official, restaurateur, philanthropist

Werner Kuster
Passing Date: January 21, 2019

Werner F. Kuster, 93, longtime owner of Aspen’s Red Onion, died January 21 in Tucson. Born into a hotelier family in Berlingen, Switzerland, Kuster apprenticed at age 14 to a pastry chef in Lucern. He learned to ski while working in resort hotels in St. Mortiz. After a year as a baker in the Swiss...

Olympian, Lange exec, coach

Sandy Shellworth Hildner
Passing Date: January 10, 2019

Sandra Shellworth Hildner, a U.S. national champion in slalom and GS, and 1968 Olympian, died January 10, 2019, of cancer, at age 74. Sandy grew up in Boise, Idaho, racing at Bogus Basin. At the University of Colorado she raced on Bob Beattie’s team, winning the US slalom championship in 1963 and,...

Hall of Fame ski historian, journalist and editor

Morten Lund
Passing Date: December 21, 2018

Hall of Famer Morten Lund, acclaimed ski journalist and skiing historian, died on December 21, 2018 at his home in Accord, New York , at 92. He had a distinguished writing and editing career spanning six decades at Sports Illustrated, SKI, Snow Country and as co-founder and editor of Skiing...

Ski Industry Advertising Executive

Robert E. Launey
Passing Date: December 16, 2018

Robert E. Launey, 91, whose advertising agency performed extensive work for the ski industry in the 1960s and ‘70s, died in Tampa, Florida, on December 16, 2018.  Born in Brooklyn, Launey served in the U.S. Navy, and earned a master’s degree in marketing from New York University. He worked for one...

Sports Illustrated ski writer

Fred Smith
Passing Date: December 14, 2018

Frederick Rutledge Smith, 93, an editor at Sports Illustrated, died on Dec. 14, 2018 at his home in Wainscott, New York. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Smith grew up on a farm near Tuscaloosa. At age 18, in 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and trained as a pilot. The war ended before he...

Ski writer, photographer

Kim Massie
Passing Date: December 2, 2018

Walter Kimball Massie, 88, long a photographer for Sports Illustrated and SKI Magazine, died December 2, 2018, at his home in Lyonsville, New York. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Massie attended Yale University on a scholarship, graduating in 1951 with a degree in English. He served in military...

Jiminy Peak Manager and Alpine Racing Coach

George Maynard
Passing Date: November 24, 2018

George Franklin Maynard III, who managed Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, died on November 24, 2018. He was the son of George “Doc” Maynard, who founded the legendary Greylock Ski Club in the 1930s and managed Jiminy in its early years with his wife, Dorothy “Dot” Maynard. ...