James Griffith  (deceased)

Year Inducted: 1971

Born: 1929 Died: 1951

Born in Boise Idaho, Griffith later moved to Ketchum in the shadow of the world famous Sun Valley Ski Resort. He attended the University of Colorado after the end of World War II at the time when the rumblings of the Colorado ski boom was starting to be heard.

As a quiet and self-effacing as he was as a college student, he was brilliant, hard-nosed and aggressive on skis. He was a member of the 1950 U.S. FIS Ski Team. At the Aspen meet it is told that he was flashing down to a second place finish in the downhill when he hooked an edge and took a bone jarring spill near the finish line, ending up far down the list but still finishing. Later that year he won the National Ski Association Downhill title while skiing for the Sun Valley Ski Club.

He entered the U.S. Air Force after graduating college and was named to the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team for the 1952 Winter Olympics. While on leave, he was practicing a downhill at Alta, Utah, in preparation for the games, when he crashed on a high speed turn and badly fractured his leg. A blood clot developed, and three days later, he died in a Salt Lake City hospital at 22-years-old.


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