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John Caldwell

Hall of Fame Class of 1983

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by C. Allison Merril.

John Caldwell is a man known to most cross-country skiers because of his long, continuous devotion to the sport through competition, coaching, writing and organizing.

John Caldwell was born on November 28, 1928 and graduated from Putney School and Dartmouth College. Upon leaving Dartmouth in 1950, he began his teaching career at Lyndon Institute in Lyndon, Vermont and then served in the U.S. Navy. From there, he moved to the Putney School where he was on the faculty as a teacher of mathematics.

As a competitor, John was a four-event skier for four years at Dartmouth. In 1952, he competed for the United States in the Winter Olympics at Oslo in the combined event.

John was an outstanding ski coach at Putney, developing such skiers as Bob Gray, Bill Koch, Martha Rockwell, Mary Heller, Tim Caldwell, Jim Galanes and others. Of equal note is his development of several outstanding Putney School ski teams. From 1965 until 1972, he served as coach of the U.S. Cross-Country Ski Teams, the Olympic Teams and World Championship Teams. In 1978, he led a group of American skiers to Australia and in 1980; he served as the coach of the Australian Olympic Cross-Country Ski Team. In 1984, he was the coach of the U.S. Team at the Sarajevo Olympics and in 1989; he was the coach of the F.I.S. Team at Lahti.

Caldwell’s writings include six editions of the popular, The Cross-Country Ski Book, first published in 1964 and the more technical, Caldwell on Cross-Country. Also, he has written many articles for Skiing Magazine and other ski media.

As a volunteer, John organized many cross-country ski meets including the 1975 National Cross-Country Championships and he served on numerous committees and in other capacities for the Eastern Ski Association and the United States Ski Association. In 1978-79, he chaired USSA’s Nordic Competition Committee.

Few people have devoted as much time to helping the young know the joys of skiing. In 1965, he was awarded the Russell Wilder Memorial Award, USSA’s Award given to an individual for best focusing the interests of America’s Youth on the sport of skiing.

John has been a devoted teacher, developer, participant and enthusiast of skiing for many years and has dedicated himself to improving the sport of cross-country skiing during his life. He was one of the founders of the New England Nordic Ski Association and was its president for the first six years.

John Caldwell was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1983.

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