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John Hostvedt

Hall of Fame Class of 1969

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John Hostvedt was a driving force in establishing the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame. He and his friends, Harold Grinden, Art Barth and Roger Langley, were the men who had the original dream of a hall of fame for skiing.

John Hostvedt was born on April 18, 1904 in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin now known as Wisconsin Rapids. Snowsport was rapidly developing in that part of the country and Hostvedt was destined to become a part of the divisional, national and international ski scene for the next 65 years.

A banker and professor, Hostvedt’s avocation became skiing from the word go. Wisconsin provided gentle terrain for cross-country ski touring and northern-faced hills for ski jumping. Within this environment Hostvedt became a top-rated competitive judge as well as a ski association official with duties based upon integrity. When Nordic was joined by alpine events it was Hostvedt’s inheritance to become a four-way official.

Always working toward the improvement of the ski sport and ski organizations at all levels, Hostvedt (from 1933 through 1949 served as treasurer of the Central Ski Association. He was also treasurer of the National Ski Association (from 1943 through 1954) a period during which he joined with other ski leaders to help found the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming.

Working with John toward creation of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame were the late Harold Grinden, the NSA‘s lifetime historian who first proposed the idea; Arthur J. Barth and Roger Langley. Each of Hostvedt’s associates served as NSA President and the four great leaders were present for the NSA’s 40th anniversary in Ishpeming in 1947 and construction was completed for dedication ceremonies during the NSA’s Golden Jubilee in 1954. Honored members included Grinden, Barth and Langley who were prime movers along with John Hostvedt.

Hostvedt was also among the organizers of the Tri-Norse Ski Club in his home town and he served his club in many capacities. He was an organizer of the Central Ski Officials’ Association, first for Nordic officials and later for alpine. Delegated to divisional and national conventions, John’s ski career reached major importance as an NSA delegate to the F.I.S. Congress of 1935 in Germany and as an association official during the 1936 Winter Olympics. John remained an official during the F.I.S. World Championships of 1950 at Lake Placid, New York.

The Julius Blegen Trophy was awarded to John in 1949 for that year’s greatest individual contribution to American ski sport. In 1952, he was given the Central Division Silver Anniversary Award for “outstanding promotion of the sport by serving the local, divisional and national organizations”.

John Hostvedt was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1969.

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