Jumping Champion, Olympian, FIS Official

Passing Date: 
Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rudy Maki, Olympic ski jumper, FIS official and longtime director of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, died January 24 at his home in Iron Mountain, Michigan. He was 80 years old.

Born in Ishpeming, Maki competed at his first ski jumping tournament at the age of eight and by the time he was eighteen was a recognized Class "A" ski jumper. In 1954 he won the North American Championships while also setting a hill record at Mount Hood, Oregon. The following year he became the national champion while also defending his North American Championship and setting hill records in Ishpeming and Iron Mountain. His jump of 300 feet at Iron Mountain is still regarded as a historical event. He competed in the 1956 Cortina and 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics as a member of the U.S. Ski Team, and in the 1958 FIS World Championships in Lahti, Finland.

Maki retired from jumping in 1960 but then volunteered as an official and judge. He received his national certification in 1962 and was certified as a FIS official in 1972. Among many judging assignments was the pre-Olympic Tournament in Lake Placid in 1979. For eight years he served on the FIS Committee for Jumping. In other capacities he served as vice-president of the CUSSA Judges Association, President of the CUSSA Ski Officials Association and on the Board of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. He was named to the Hall of Fame in 1982.

Rudy was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Ruth, eldest son, Bradley, along with brothers Frank, Clyde, Melvin, and Alden (Hub) Maki, and sisters Vi Roseveare and Helen Kari.

He is survived by his daughter Melanie (James) Olson; two sons Chris (Melanie) Maki, and Rodney Maki all from the Iron Mountain area; two grandsons; Dr. Brandon (Alyssa) Maki, and Korey (Amy) Maki; one granddaughter, Elina Maki and two great-granddaughters, Halle Kate and Holland Grace Maki. He is also survived by his sister Nannie Karno who resides in West Allis, Wisconsin.

Leave a comment


If you would like to leave a comment or remark, please login to your subscriber account.