Hall of Fame Class of 2009
Jack Benedick’s passion and innovation has left an amazing legacy on adaptive skiing. The evolution of the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team, the prominence of U.S. athletes over the past two decades and the growth of adaptive skiing within the Paralympics can be traced back to him.
Jack was a career soldier and did two tours during the Vietnam conflict. It was during his second tour that he lost both legs below the knee. He was introduced to skiing while rehabbing at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver. Although he continued to serve in the army as a major for the next decade, the only double amputee in active military service, skiing soon became his life.
Skiing was more than recreation to him. He learned to compete and was named to the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team in 1979. At the Paralympics in 1980 he earned three top five placements. Four years later he won a silver medal in the combined marking the beginning of the U.S. as a powerhouse in the sport for the next two decades.
Retiring as an athlete, Benedick started to make his real contribution to the sport working to elevate its position so that its athletes could participate and compete at the very highest levels.
Benedick took his message to the world and saw adaptive skiing recognized by the FIS in 1994. His hard work within the International Paralympic Committee saw his being recognized with the Paralympic Order in 2006.
As an athlete, soldier, skier and leader, Jack Benedick has made a difference.
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