Hall of Fame Class of 2007
Doug Lewis developed his love for skiing from a very early age. Encouraged by his mother, who was a ski instructor at Middlebury Snowbowl in Vermont, he was on skis by the age of three and developed a deep desire to become a member of its racing team. Despite his small size he went on to become a two-time national champion, two time Olympian and two-time member of the U.S. World Championship team.
Lewis says that he always loved the downhill and as a child worked hard developing his technical skills and learning to read the tight lines as Middlebury took only the top seven racers to events. Following his brother to Vermont’s Green Valley Mountain Academy he won the J2 Championship as a sophomore in 1980 and got to race in his first World Cup event in 1981 at Vail, Colorado. It was not a precursor of things to come as he crashed heavily, compressing three vertebrae taking him out of skiing for 6 months.
That did not prevent him from pursuing his dream as he skied in his second World Cup the next year and made it to the U.S. Olympic Team in 1984. He was Bill Johnson’s roommate in Sarajevo. That year he also earned his first World Cup points.
In 1985 he became the first American male to reach the podium in the downhill at the World Championships with his third place finish in Bormio, Italy. In the first World Cup race of 1986 he continued to improve finishing second at Las Lenas, Argentina. He won his first of two U.S. National titles in 1986 as well.
He competed in Calgary at the Olympic Games in 1988 and retired from ski racing at the end of the 1988 season.
He has continued his career as if on a mission to spread the gospel of skiing and ski racing. He coached at Green Valley Mountain Academy for 5 years directing its J-3, 4, and 5 programs. He is a well-known color commentator for skiing and has been a skiing ambassador for Sugarbush Resort. He also co-founded Eliteam, a program to improve summer conditioning for young ski racers.
Commenting on his career he has said: “I wanted to be an Olympian when I was eight; I was focused. But someone inspired me as a kid. I went down to Killington and got Phil and Steve Mahre’s autographs when they trained there, and then I got to race in the Olympics with them. I hope I can give back – for kids, for adults, for anyone – so they see what a great experience skiing can be.”
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