Hall of Fame Class of 1984
Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Dave McCoy, Mammoth Mt, endorsed by Doug Wilson, Producer/Director of ABC Wide World of Sports.
Bob Beattie wasted no time between finishing college and establishing the United States Ski Team as a group to be taken seriously on the international ski circuit.
A three-sport athlete at Middlebury College (skiing, football and tennis) Bob Beattie’s first coaching assignment came when he was only 22. He was chosen as acting head coach at Middlebury College when Bob Sheehan took a year’s leave of absence to serve as Head Coach of the U.S. Olympic Alpine Squad. Beattie had been as alpine and cross-country skier under Sheehan.
The following year, he was named head ski coach of the University of Colorado and quickly built the school into a national collegiate ski power – winning the NCAA Team Championships in 1958, 1959 and 1960.
Beattie was named Head Alpine Coach of the U.S. squad which competed in the 1962 World Ski Championships at Charmonix. France. Among the youthful members of the squad who Beattie helped develop into ranking international stars were Jean Saubert, Billy Kidd, Jim Heuga and Bill Marolt.
He did a masterful job of blending these youngsters with such established veterans as Buddy Werner, Gordi Eaton and Chuck Ferries to form a solid U.S. Ski Team which earned four medals in the 1964 Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria. Silver and bronze slalom medals by Kidd and Heuga were the first Olympic medals ever won by the U.S. men.
Beattie continued to head the U.S. National program and he finally resigned his Colorado coaching job in 1965 to devote full time to the U.S. Ski Team.
In 1967, along with French ski-journalist Serge Lang and French coach Honore Bonnet, Beattie assisted in hammering out a schedule of world class ski races in a format borrowed from the Grand Prix of auto racing. This became known as the World Cup and provided an opportunity for a single competitor to receive acclaim as an outstanding skier throughout an entire ski season. The format has withstood the test of time.
When he left the U.S. Ski Team in the spring of 1969, the U.S. Alpine program was solidly entrenched and recognized as a world ski power.
In addition to being the founder and commissioner of World Pro Skiing, he was the president of World Wide Ski Corporation, the executive director of the International Ski Racers Association, commissioner of NASTAR and founder and director of the Bob Beattie NASTAR Race Camps. An author of three books on skiing, Beattie was also commentator for ABC Television.
Robert Beattie was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1984.
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