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Dick Dorworth

Hall of Fame Class of 2011

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A noted ski racer, coach and world-record holder, Dick Dorworth is one of skiing’s most passionate journalists. He has inspired generations of skiers worldwide through his example as a leader and his ability to translate his passion for skiing into words. His career touched every corner of the ski world, from Europe to Asia, South America to Alaska.

Dorworth grew up in the Sierra Nevada, racing extensively from 1950-1965, making the All-American Ski Team in 1962 while at the University of Nevada and later earning a spot on 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 year he set the world speed record in Portillo, Chile, reaching 106 mph (171 kph).

Dorworth was a noted coach and ski instructor, both in North and South America. In 1970-1971, he inspired a new generation of ski racers as men’s coach for the U.S. Ski Team.

But his real impact came from his ability to turn his passion into words. As a noted ski journalist, his writing appeared virtually everywhere, included SKI, Skiing, Snow Country, Powder and Men’s Journal, among others. His famous short story, “The Perfect Turn,“ has been repeatedly published and is included in his recent book of the same name. 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 eagerly await “A Skiers Journal,” in which he wrote about everything from a skiing friendship expedition to China to tragedies in avalanches and the 1978 Squaw tram accident. In Skiing Heritage he documented skiing’s history, writing about notable sports heroes like Steve McKinney and Dick Barrymore. His recent books “Night Driving,” “The Joy of Skiing” and “The Perfect Turn” have drawn acclaim.

He remains an avid skier in Sun Valley in the winter and a climber in the summer. Many skiers have the passion, but few have the unique talent to put it into words, which is why Dorworth was presented with an Ullr Award by the International Skiing History Association.

Career Highlights:

1962: Collegiate All-American
1963: Set record for Diamond Sun Race in Sun Valley, his time of 2:21 still stands
1963: Set world speed record of 106 mph in Portillo, Chile
1970-71: Men’s alpine coach, U.S. Ski Team
1988-1992: Director of the Aspen Mountain Ski School
2010: The anthology, “The Perfect Turn, and Other Tales of Skiing and Skiers” was published.

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