Hall of Fame Class of 1971
Albert Sigal was the president of the Yosemite Ski Club for ten years. During this time, he served the National Ski Association as both vice-president and president and was divisional chairman of the National Ski Patrol System.
References are made concerning the part which Albert Sigal played in furthering the sport of skiing whenever a generation of elders from along the Pacific Coast converse about early skiing. His interest was helped along by his two sons who were California Junior Champions at ages 15 and 16. Junior skiing was a neglected issue until older skiers such as Sigal took it under their wings. He also took it upon himself the role of creating a united divisional organization, bringing into its fold many smaller ski clubs and groups, growing into one of the largest divisions of the National Ski Association.
Albert Sigal, as president of the Yosemite Ski Club, used this as a base for the selling and molding of the unity which had been lacking for quite a few years during the infancy of skiing in the West. He remained as president of his club for 10 years. During this time, he became Divisional Chairman of the National Ski Patrol System, a vice-president and president of the National Ski Association, a member of the executive committee of the United States Olympic Association, chairman of the United States Olympic Association and chairman of the United States Ski Games Committee for the 1948 Winter Games at St. Moritz.
Sigal’s work for skiing among all these segmented won for him important awards: the “Ski Patrolman of the Year” award by the National Ski Patrol System and the Julius Blegen Award of the National Ski Association in 1953, reading “For outstanding service to U.S. Skiing”.
Albert’s activities as a member of the National Ski Patrol System contributed great value to skiing. On a trip to Washington for the Ski Patrol System, he and Minot Dole arranged to be the recruiters for skiers to set up the ski Mountain Troops. When training in the West, the U.S. Air Force began to have crashes in the coastal ranges and was unable to reach these wrecks. Sigal set up a search and rescue program with the 4th Air Force in San Francisco which operated very efficiently and he was credited with saving personnel who otherwise would have perished in the cold and snow. The National Ski Patrol System awarded Sigal its gold medal star for this service in 1943-44.
Sigal’s service to skiing in connection with Olympic activities paralleled his efforts in other ski fields. When named as chairman of the United States Ski Games Committee in 1947-48, he immediately set in motion, with 1 or 2 assistants, a program for fundraising and equipment furnishings which resulted in a citation from Avery Brundage, president of the United States Olympic Committee, who stated, “Never before has the National Ski Association responded so well, and I am sure that this was due largely to your diligence.” Mr. Sigal was also appointed manager of the United States Ski Team for the 1948 Olympic Games held in St. Moritz. However, business prevented him from going and a substitute was elected.
Mr. Sigal assisted in bringing the VIII Olympic Winter Games in 1960 to Squaw Valley and was director of the Organizing Committee for the games. His knowledge and efforts for skiing was important to the games success.
Albert E. Sigal was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1971.
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