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George Macomber

Hall of Fame Class of 1973

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Robert Thomson.

George Macomber has a record of accomplishment and service within USSA that could well earn him recognition as a ski sport builder. However, his records in alpine competition put him at the top as a competitor.

From 1948 through 1969, George made significant contributions in the area of ski administration, organization and future planning. In the Eastern Division – USSA, he chaired the Sanctions Committee (1948-1949), the Downhill-Slalom Committee (1950-1951), the Publications Committee (1952) and the Eligibility Rules Committee (1958-1969). Under the National Ski Association flag he was chairman of the Downhill-Slalom Committee (1953) and of the ICC Downhill-Slalom Committee (1954-1956). He served as an Eastern Director (1949-1950) and as an Eastern officer (1951-1956) with the last two years as president of the USEASA. During this time he was elected as a vice-president of NSA (1954 and 1955). It was under his administration that USEASA took the very large step forward of hiring a full-time executive director to run the Eastern office.

George has been a director, an officer, trustee, a committee chairman and committee member of corporations, hospitals, community welfare organizations and schools. He was a founder and later a president of Wildcat Mt. Corporation (1956-1967), contributing tremendously to the growth of New Hampshire high-country skiing.

As a collegian at M.I.T. and a member of its ski team, he began to collect the silverware that is part of the legend of “the Cat” as George was known on the national team. In 1945 he was generally in the first three positions in collegiate competitions, slalom being his strong suit. With a year off in 1946, he trained at Alta and surprised many students of the national ski scene by placing first in the downhill, third in the giant slalom and eighth in the slalom for a fourth in the combined of the Alta Cup. That same year he was fourth in California’s Sugar Bowl Silver Belt Giant Slalom.

In 1947, George “arrived”. Some of the high points were a third in slalom in the SRMSA championships at Aspen, a third in slalom and a third in the combined at the IASA Championship at Jackson Hole and a third in the downhill and combined at the Sun Valley Olympic tryouts. He was then selected for the 1948 Olympic Team. After a great second place in the New Year’s Giant Slalom at Davos, Switzerland (1948), George was injured in training and missed the Olympic Games. Later in the year he came back to win the Silver Belt Giant Slalom in sugar Bowl. In 1949 George tied for first in the Gibson Trophy Race, second in the Sun Valley S.C. Championships and scored first across the board at the Nationals at Whitefish, Montana. He was injured while training for the Roch Cup at Aspen but came back for a sixth in the slalom and an eighth in the combined at the North American Championships at Aspen. He also scored a ninth in the combined at the Harriman Cup, Sun Valley and a tie for third in the National Giant Slalom at Reno’s Slide Mountain.

As a member of the 1950 U.S. Team at the F.I.S. World Championships, he was injured while training at Aspen. Nevertheless, he scored fifteenth in the slalom, twenty-second in downhill and forty-second in giant slalom in those championship events. He placed fourth in the Eccles Cup Giant Slalom at Ogden that year. He was also fifth in slalom and sixth in the combined of the North Americans at Banff. At Sun Valley’s Harriman Cup, he scored ninth in both the downhill and the combined. In the Eastern Championships at Stowe he won the downhill, scored fifth in slalom and fourth in the combined. He won the Webber Cup Downhill on the very dangerous Wildcat.

During 1951, George was re-injured in the Slalom of Lauberhorn but earned a twenty-first in the Downhill Lauberhorn Trophy in Wengen beforehand. The injury string carried through the 1952 Olympic year. Even though he had made the Olympic Team, he was unable to compete in the games.

In 1954, George scored a third in the Webber Cup Downhill, in 1956 a third in the Orvis Trophy Race and between 1954 and 1962, many other firsts and high placements. He was a dominant figure in Veteran competitions in the East and at the Nationals in 1962. When 1967 came round he swept the Group 3 (age 40-47) National Veterans’ Championships. Always extending his racing limits, it was inevitable that George meet Dame Misfortune on the racing hill occasionally. However, injuries never kept him down for long and he was soon back better than before.

George Macomber was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1973

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