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John Fry

Hall of Fame Class of 1995

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

John Fry’s strong editorial positions and actions have had a significant influence on recreational skiing, competition skiing, environmental issues and the politics of organized skiing.

Since 1964, skiers have best known John Fry as the editor of Ski Life, Ski Magazine, Ski Business, Cross-Country Ski and Ski Area Management. In 1987, he began a new national magazine, Snow Country with a circulation of 465,000 that has been a major influence on the sport. For 35 years, his strong editorial position has had a significant influence on recreational and competitive skiing, environmental issues and the politics of skiing.

Fry conceived and implemented two yardsticks used in the sport worldwide to measure ski racing performance: NASTAR and the Nations Cup. NASTAR, his brainchild in 1968, is now staged weekly at 150 ski areas nationwide with over 100,000 participants. The concept spread to Canada, Switzerland, Austria and Australia.

NASTAR is a National Standard Race which permits the skier to rate his or her skiing ability on a national level such as handicaps enable golfers. The NASTAR handicaps are determined by the margin between a skier’s time and that of a pacesetter on an official NASTAR course. Skiers of any age or level of ability are open to race the NASTAR program. Because racing experience is unnecessary; this allows any skier the opportunity to find out if he or she can actually run a giant slalom course and rate his or her time against the National Standard time which has been set by a “pro.”

In order to involve SKI Magazine when the World Cup was conceived in 1966, Fry suggested a trophy honoring the national team with the most World Cup points be named the winner of the National Cup. It would be used to gauge a team’s annual progress and after 30 years, still remains an F.I.S. competition. As recently as March, 1995, Snowmeister, a downhill race using both skis and snowboards, was created by Fry. Snowmeister may well become a major racing format!

Fry served on the F.I.S. Word Cup Committee from 1970-1975 and in 1989 created the National Ski Area Design Awards. He also promoted the Graduated Length Method (GLM) of ski teaching.

Born a Canadian in 1930, Fry graduated from McGill University in 1952. He began skiing in 1936 and is a member of the Red Birds, one of the oldest ski clubs in North America. He moved to the United States in 1957 and became a U.S. citizen.

John Fry was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1995.

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