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Earle Little

Hall of Fame Class of 1972

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Earle B. Little was a ski sport builder of the first magnitude and served is sport of skiing well in a number of ways for more than three decades. His volunteer contributions and active participation in ski sport extended into Western Canada, the western states and eventually was worldwide.

Earle B. Little’s contributions to ski sport were numerous and his participation for more than 30 years marked him among the ski sport builders of North America. His influence as a ski official extended into the western states, Western Canada and eventually was world-wide – the necessary record for a Ski Sport Builder for posthumous honoring into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame.

Earle began promoting ski jumping in 1929 as a member of the Leavenworth Ski Club. He was elected vice-president and a director of the club in 1934. His duties included publicity and transportation. In 1940, he was elected president and served in that capacity until 1948. He set the pattern for running a successful jumping tournament; the rules and regulations are still enforced today.

In addition to serving his community and his ski club, Earle Little was known for his contributions at the divisional, national and international levels:

In 1940, he became a certified Pacific Northwest Ski Association Jumping Judge. In 1948, he became a National Judge for the united States Ski Association. In 1953, he was certified as a federal International Ski Judge.

During the mid-1940’s, Earle Little compiled and printed a chart that made a jumper’s points for distance available immediately after the jump. The National Ski Association accepted the chart (which is still used today) as well as Earle’s publication of the revised examinations for jump judges.

Earle assisted in arranging for scholarships for foreign students who were attending college in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Montana and were interested in ski jumping. Earle’s term as a jumping judge was highlighted by his selection to be the lone United States judge at the World Championships at Falun, Sweden. He was later a judge at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina, Italy. In 1959, Earle served as Director of competition at the North American Championships at Squaw Valley, California. In 1960, he was Secretary of Competition at the Olympics at Squaw Valley. He served in many capacities and was known throughout the world for his knowledge and authority with respect to skiing.

A Seattle newspaper wrote: “Earle Little who has been Tournament Major Domo these many years. The whole pole centers around him. He pitches and covers all the bases at the same time. With Little pushing the buttons the tournaments go exactly on schedule. There was a certain click of the clock for the downward departure of every man, and the old time piece was never off a second. Little judged, he cued the bugler, ran the hill, and when it was all over, handed out the prizes with a celerity in great contrast to the usual long drawn out banquet affairs.”

Earle B. Little was posthumously honored by his election to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1982.

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