Year Inducted: 2011
Born: October 16, 1938--Reno, Nevada
A noted ski racer, coach and world holder, Dick Dorworth brought his sport to light over an entire lifetime as one of skiing's most passionate journalists. He has inspired countless generations of skiers worldwide through his example as a leader and his ability to convey his passion for skiing to words. His career touched every corner of the ski world from the mountains of Europe to Asia, and from South America to Alaska.
Dick Dorworth grew up in the Sierra Nevada, racing extensively from 1950-65 and making the All-American Ski Team in 1962 while at the University of Nevada and later to the first U.S. National Ski Training Team. In 1963, he set a record for the Diamond Sun Race in Sun Valley, considered the fastest standard race in the world. His time of 2:21 for the 2.6 mile course still stands. That same year he set the world record for speed on skis in Portillo, Chile, reaching 171 kph (106mph).
Dorworth was a noted coach and ski instructor in North and South America, completing instructional certification in both France and the USA. In 1970-71 he inspired a new generation of ski racers as men's coach for the U.S. Ski Team. From 1988-1992 he was the Director of the Aspen Mountain Ski School and also served as a climbing guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School, Shasta Mountain Guides and Exum Mountain Guides.
But his real impact came in his ability to turn his passion to words. As a noted ski journalist, his writing appeared virtually everywhere including SKI, Skiing, Powder, Snow Country, Mountain Gazette, Men's Journal, Climbing, New West, Mariah, Wild Duck Review, Summit and Backpacker. His famous short story, "The Perfect Turn," has been published in both Summit and Mountain Gazette. Ski writer, Lito Tejada-Flores, wrote: "I read Dick Dorworth's story, 'The Perfect Turn' quite a few years ago. I never forgot it. This is simply the best piece of skiing fiction I have ever encountered."
Readers of SKI Magazine would wait eagerly for his "A Skier's Journal" where he wrote about everything from a skiing friendship expedition to China to tragedies in avalanches and the Squaw Valley tram accident. In "Skiing Heritage" he documented history, writing about notable sport heroes like Steve McKinney and Dick Barrymore. His recent books, "Night Driving" and "The Joy of Skiing" have drawn wide acclaim. His speed skiing exploits are found in an unpublished book in the Roland Palmedo Ski Library, with a compilation, "In Pursuit of Pure Speed," published in Mountain Gazette and "The Ski Book," by Mort Lund and Bob Gillen.
He remains an active skier in Sun Valley in the winter and climber in the summer. Many skiers have the passion, but few have had the unique talent to put it into words, which is why Dick Dorworth was recently recognized by the International Skiing History Association with an Ullr Award.