Hall of Fame Class of 2001
Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Jean Arthur.
Josef “Pepi” Stiegler was a member of the Austrian ski team during the 1960s and one of the world’s premier racers. Skiing meant everything to Pepi and he felt it made him a better person.
“Pepi” Stiegler was born in 1937. A native of Austria, he began skiing at the age of 6. When Pepi was 15 years old, he won his first title, the Austrian Junior championships.
He then went on to win many key races. In the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, Pepi won a silver medal in giant slalom. At that time, Pepi was a 26-year-old photographer who had been twice removed from the national team and replaced by Egon Zimmerman but both times he was replaced because of public pressure. Stiegler had such a large lead after the first run in that 1964 Olympic Slalom that even finishing 8th in the second run did not wipe out that margin and was good enough to hold 1st place against our own Billy Kidd who finished 2nd and Jimmy Heuga who bronzed.
Pepi made appearances at many ski events in the USA, wrote articles for ski magazines, eventually moving to the United States and ending up at Jackson Hole. He reigned for many years as the ski school’s director.
At the age of 60+, Pepi was ready for a new challenge pursing a BA. He enrolled at Montana State University as an English major. English was not his native language; however, he had always strived to improve his English. He went on to graduate with a degree in English Literature.
Josef “Pepi” Stiegler was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 2001.
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