Year Inducted: 2014
When Jeannie Thoren started skiing in the 1960s there was no women-specific ski equipment, so she began to customize her own. Tracing a direct correlation between changes in her gear and improvement in her technique, she made it her mission to help other women ski better by making their equipment better. She held the first women’s gear clinic at Buck Hill, Minnesota in 1981.
Thoren became the “Johnny Appleseed of women’s skiing,” traveling every winter 1988-2006 with a trailer of gear in tow. She conducted as many as 70 “Thoren’s Women’s Ski Equipment Seminars” per season throughout North America, personally helping thousands of women improve their skiing. Recognizing that women have smaller feet and a lower center of gravity than men, she focused on better fitting boots, heel lifts in boots, cants under bindings and moving bindings forward on the ski.
In 1986 she designed what is believed to be the first women’s ski, for the Austrian company Blizzard. By extension of her clinics, her work as a marketing consultant and attention from the ski press, she created awareness of and demand for women-centric ski gear, raising the bar for the entire industry and improving the sport for all women. The Exclusive Carve Ski she designed for Dynastar became Ski magazine’s 2007 Ski of the Year. In 2009, she opened the Jeannie Thoren’s Women’s Ski Center in Vail, Colorado.
-1984-’85: author for Ski magazine column, “The Woman Skier”
-1986: designed first woman-specific ski for Blizzard Ski Company of Austria
-1988-’06: held women’s gear clinics throughout North America
-1999: recognized by Skiing Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential People; recognized by Ski magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the History of Skiing
-2000-’02: ranked as one of the top 100 ski instructors in America
-2003: recipient of the Carson White Golden Quill Award for outstanding contribution to skiing by the North American Snowsports Journalist Association
-2007: designed the Dynastar Exclusive Carve Ski which was named Ski of the Year by Ski magazine