Donald Fraser  (deceased)

Year Inducted: 1972

Born:  February 11, 1913    Vancouver, WA

Died: January 12, 1994  Sun Valley, ID

Don Fraser was a skiing pioneer in the Pacific North-west of the United States.  At a time when most skiers there competed in ski jumping and cross country he became a highly polished alpine skier.   Twice he won the fabled Silver Skis Race at Mount Rainier in Washington, a challenging mass start downhill event where less than half of the 60 plus starters would finish.  From 1935 to 1938 he was the Pacific North-west Ski Association champion in the slalom and was named to two US Olympic ski teams, 1936 and 1940.

During the 1930's American skiers had few opportunities to compete internationally.  Fraser was injured during the 1936 Olympic Games and could not compete  but a few weeks later he joined other members of the US ski team and competed in a series of Downhill races in  Sestriere, Italy, known as the King's Cup.  He finished a commendable 11th.

He remained devoted to skiing throughout his life and was a frequent skiing official following his retirement from competition.  His skiing ability drew the attention of Gretchen Kunick who became his wife in1939.  Gretchen Kunick Fraser is America's first Olympic skiing champion with her gold and silver medal success in 1948. 

 


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