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David Bradley

Hall of Fame Class of 1985

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Everett Wood in 1985.

David Bradley’s devotion to skiing covers fifty years as competitor, writer, coach, judge, Olympic manager, First Aid Chief and designer/renovator of over sixty jumping hills in the Eastern United States.

As a promising jumper from Madison, Wisconsin Dave entered Dartmouth in September, 1934. He arrived with one pair of skis of the 8-foot triple groove variety. During the next four years, under Otto Schniebs and Walter Prager, he became an outstanding competitor in several events: the U.S. Eastern Champion in Nordic Combined (1936), the U.S. National Champion in Nordic Combined (1938) and captain of the 1937-38 Dartmouth Ski Team which included such All-Americans as Dick Durrance, Warren Chivers, Howard Chivers and John Litchfield. During the winter of 1938-39, Dave competed for Cambridge University in England, winning (among other titles) the European Collegiate Championship in four events at Grindewald, Switzerland. That spring he was named (with five Dartmouth teammates) to the 1940 U.S. Olympic Ski Team. Hitler’s invasion of Poland changed all that. Instead of the Olympic Games, there was war. It was believed, however, that had the Games been held as planned, Dick Durrance in the alpine events, John Litchfield in jumping and the Chivers brothers and Dave in the nordic combined would have amazed many Europeans and made friends of our country all over Norway.

As a writer, Dave Bradley wrote articles for the Ski Annual and continued as a newspaper reporter attached to Finnish ski troops in the 1940 Winter War against Russia. Some of his books include EXPERT SKIING (with Al Merrill and Ralph Miller) and SKI JUMPING, a children’s handbook that appeared in two editions and was later translated into Finnish.

A designer and renovator of ski hills, Bradley helped design and renovate sixty-six 15 to 40 meter hills in five Eastern States. His expertise, time and on occasions, even his own finances, expanded his twenty-five year labor of love. Those sixty-six hills are part of Dave’s legacy to American skiers to come.

Bradley’s coaching career began when he returned to Hanover in 1952. Dave became a jumping coach in the Ford Sayre Junior Program, working with boys from eight to sixteen for the next twenty-eight years. Many of “Dave’s boys” became competitive jumpers and all of them experienced the unforgettable fun and thrill of “riding” 15, 20 and sometimes 30 and 40-meter hills. One of them, Walter Malmquist, went all the way, becoming an Olympic skier and in 9179, U.S. Champion in both Specialty Jumping and Nordic Combined!

It was only natural that Dave’s interest in jumping should lead to his becoming a judge. In 1956, he became an Eastern judge; in 1960 a National judge and an F.I.S. judge in 1965. Although he rarely mentions it, he is one of few Americans to have officiated as an F.I.S. judge in International Competition in Finland.

In 1959, Dave was named manager of the U.S. Olympic Nordic Team in Squaw Valley.

Dave was appointed Chief of First Aid for all jumping events in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Again he spent a much time on location as he had in Squaw Valley. Many saw him briefly on TV assisting a jumper after a terrible fall on the big hill. To everyone’s relief, the jumper recovered completely.

For six years, Dave was a representative in the New Hampshire Legislature. As a medical doctor, he served on the Committee for Health & Safety. Along with Waldo Bigelow, Dave sponsored a bill (which became law) concerning ski tow safety regulations. Dr. Bradley has devoted a lifetime to the betterment of skiing.

Dr. David J. Bradley was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1985.

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