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Jimmie Heuga

Hall of Fame Class of 1976

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Jim Heuga was on the 1964 United States Olympic Team, finishing just behind Billy Kidd to take the bronze medal at Innsbruck, Austria. Together they became the first American men to win alpine skiing medals at the Olympic Winter Games.

Jimmie Heuga had the good fortune to be able to ski at Squaw Valley everyday while he was growing up. His father was employed at the resort and Jimmie took full advantage of the opportunity. Daily he could be seen skiing with famed instructor Emile Allais and became fully adapted to Allais “French Technique” which was accepted at that time as the ultimate style for racing. He was regarded as a “phenomenal kid” with enormous self-confidence on skis. At the age of 17 he performed well at the U.S. Olympic Trials but was kept off the team for his lack of experience.

Undeterred he managed to travel with the team to Europe for pre-Olympic training and gained valuable experience racing against Europe’s best.

Jim Heuga earned a spot on the 1962 F.I.S. Team for the World Championships at Chamonix, France. He won a fifth place in the slalom-downhill combined and took twelfth place in the slalom and giant slalom.

His “brightest hour” came when he took the Olympic Slalom Bronze Medal at the Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. He shared the podium with his teammate Billy Kidd, the silver medalist for one of America’s historic moments in Olympic alpine skiing competition. The bronze medal is a major attraction of a United States Ski Team display in the Western American Skisport Museum at Boreal Ridge in California.

Jimmie’s record:

• 1960 – Slalom Championships of the U.S. National Junior and National Senior tourneys
• 1961 – Junior Combined of Sel-am-see and the alpine combined of the Harriman Cup
• 1962 – Lauberhorn and Wengen Medals; the Emile Allais Silver Disk
• 1963 – Aurora Cup, third place, Nationals, Alyeska, Alaska; NCAA Bronze
• 1964 – Harriman Cup Gold Bowl for downhill first; Arlberg Kandahar Gold Cup for Combined Championship; 1964 Olympic slalom, bronze medal; F.I.S. World Champions Bronze Snowflake
• 1965 – Alpine Holiday Classic Gold in Slalom
• 1966 – Slalom Gold First at Bariloche, Argentina; Vail Trophy Silver Bowl for slalom first and silver for combined; Colorado Cup, first place
• 1967 – The Werner Cup, the Colorado Cup, the Roch Cup and the giant slalom 3rd Place World Cup award; the Australian Thredbo Cup for first in combined, slalom and giant slalom

Jim retired from competition after the 1968 Olympics and turned to coaching on a part-time basis. He coached the United States Alpine Ski Team for the 1973-1974 season and both junior and senior racers on a part-time basis whenever he had the opportunity. Shortly afterwards it was discovered that he had Multiple Sclerosis. He has worked tirelessly since spearheading the Jimmie Heuga Center for the Reanimation of the Physically Challenged and The Jimmie Heuga Express(now called SKI for MS with Jonny Moseley), the latter being a series of ski marathons to raise funds for the centre.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Jimmie, by the age of 25 had been on U.S.Teams during two Olympics and two F.I.S. World Championships.

James “Jim” Heuga was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame on 1976.

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