Hall of Fame Class of 1999
Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Bruce A. Crane, Park City, Utah.
Dr. Leland Sosman leaves skiing a great legacy. The sport has benefited from his role as a booster, recruiter, teacher and mentor.
Dr. Leland Sosman was born in Washington, D.C. on September 15, 1920. His involvement in skiing began as a teenager in school. He joined the Black and Blue Trail Smashers in Waterville Valley. After World War II, he became a volunteer in club and Eastern Division activities, which evolved into USSA and international involvement. “Sos” as he is affectionately called, built a legacy as a teacher, recruiter and mentor and has brought dozens of people into important areas of competitive skiing. The success of many ski competitions in the United States over the past several decades, from Olympics, World Championships and World Cups to the Buddy Werner League, is due in large to the efforts of the loyal people that “Doc” brought into skiing. “Sos” worked diligently to standardize the rules of ski racing. He has served on various F.I.S. Committees and has been an F.I.S. Official for thirty years.
Listed are some of Dr. Sosman’s awards, achievements and highlights in skisport:
• Julius Blegen Award, 1976, USSA’s highest volunteer award
• USSA Gold Certificate and three Silver Certificates for service to USSA
• Bud & Mary Little Award (1st winner after Littles), 1990, for contributions to USSA through long-term involvement in the FIS
• Burckett-Dodge Award, 1991, by Eastern USSA alpine officials for contributions to alpine officiating
• Westhaven Award, 1993, in recognition of outstanding service as a FIS/USSA Technical Delegate
• Began skiing ‘career’ in 1937-38, joining the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers Ski Club Director Race Chairman, President, US Eastern Amateur Ski Association representative
• Greater Boston Council, Eastern interclub Ski League, Honorary Director for Life
• USEASA Director and Alpine Official’s chairman, USSA Alpine Official’s chairman
• USSA Director and Alpine Vice President (multi-term), Honorary Director since, Parliamentarian for life (missing only one meeting over 37 years and that due to emergency surgery)
• US Ski Education Foundation Trustee and executive committee member
• Chief of race for 15 World Cup races at Waterville Valley while USS Alpine vice-president, Technical Delegate at others
• Member of F.I.S. Alpine Rules subcommittee, 1973-92; Honorary since *Official translator of German to English, in particular for quadrennial issue of new rule book editions *Technical delegates working group and commission
• FIS-licensed alpine Technical Delegate (since 1974 with over 500 days service) now emeritus *Competition Jury member, Winter Olympic Games, Sarajevo, 1984 and World Championships, 1987, Crans-Montana
• Olympic official 1964, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2002
• FIS Nor-Am subcommittee (formerly Can-Am), chairman, 1972-1992
• Certifier of the Minutes, biennial FIS Congresses, 15 years
• National Ski Patrol System member, instructor and patrol leader
• Certified Professional Ski Touring Instructor, cross-country competition organizer, official and competitor
• Co-founder, Mass Bay High School Ski League (alpine and cross-country)
• Bib #1 in first NASTAR race ever conducted, 1968
Dr. Leland “Doc” Sosman was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1999.
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