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Godfrey Dewey

Hall of Fame Class of 1970

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Godfrey Dewey’s Skisport experience won him the role of manager of the 1928 U.S. Winter Olympic Team that competed in St. Mortiz, Switzerland. He was responsible for bringing the 1932 Olympic Winter Games to the United States.

Godfrey Dewey was born in New York City on September 3, 1887. When Dewey was bound for Harvard, as a student in 1904, his father, Melvill Dewey, established the Lake Placid Club’s winter program. This included bringing the first skis into the Adirondacks, previously only snowshoe country. Before Dewey graduated in 1909, he began the design of Lake Placid winter sports facilities including: ski hills, skating and hockey rinks and toboggan slides. These were completed in 1920.

Dewey’s ski sport experience won him the role of manager of the United States Ski Team for the II Olympic Winter Games at St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1928. He carried the Stars and Stripes in the Opening Ceremonies.

Following the games, Dewey visited European winter resorts, studying problems of staging and bidding for the III Olympic Winter Games, securing the award to Lake Placid for 1932.

In 1936, Dewey wrote an article, ‘Ski Hill Design” in the National Ski Association Yearbook (reprinted by the National Ski Association in “Designing and Constructing Ski Jumping Hills” in 1939). It gave principles, profiles and tables, sufficient to determine the most suitable hill for a given site, and design profile with assurance that it would give the desired result.

Dewey became president of the Olympic Organizing Committee, responsible for location, design and construction of facilities, personally designing the Olympic ski jumping hill. Subsequently, he also designed ski jumping hills at Middlebury College and St Lawrence University and three additional jumps near Lake Placid. He was consulted on many others.

As an outstanding pioneer ski sport developer, Godfrey Dewey was a part of the sport building effort in the Adirondack regions for more than 65 years. This area saw skiing nordic and alpine phases become exceptional recreational and competitive pastimes.

Godfrey Dewey was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.

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