Four inducted into U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame

Saturday, January 29th 2005, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

ISHPEMING, Mich. (AP) _ Four skiers _ Alan Engen, Thor Brandt Groswold, Picabo Street and Donna Weinbrecht _ have been inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place Friday in front of several hundred people at Peterson Auditorium in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Street, a 14-year member of the U.S. Ski Team, has won numerous championships, including World Cup downhill titles in 1994-95 and 1995-96. She won the downhill silver medal at the 1994 Olympics and the super giant slalom gold medal at the 1998 Olympics.

``This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,'' she told The Mining Journal of Marquette. ``I grew up chasing my father and brother around Sun Valley ... following my heart, doing what I loved.''

New Jersey-born Weinbrecht, 39, was a late-comer to the skiing world. She started when she was 18, earned a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team in 1988, and led the Americans to the Olympics in Albertville five years later.

``I can't picture what my life would be like if a Canadian family hadn't moved into our neighborhood and introduced me to skiing,'' she said. ``Skiing is such a big part of my life.''

Engen, 64, of Salt Lake City, is no stranger to the Hall. His father, legendary ski jumper Alf Engen, was inducted in 1959, followed by Alf's brothers in 1971 and 1973.

``But as far as my going in, I thought the odds were about zero. I'm truly honored and humbled,'' he said.

Named an All-American in 1960 while he was at the University of Utah, Engen later established a ski museum outside Park City, Utah, wrote two books about the sport, and worked for more than four decades as a ski instructor.

Groswold, 76, of Montrose, Colo., has also been involved in the sport all his life. Both of his parents were ski jumpers, and his father was a ski manufacturer who inducted into the hall in 1970. Groswold officiated at the 1960 and 1980 Olympics.