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Malcom McLane

Hall of Fame Class of 1973

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame provided by Robert Thomson.

Malcolm McLane was a competent four-event skier. In 1942, McLane served as a fighter pilot in Europe and flew 73 missions before being shot down and captured by the Germans. He was a P.O.W. until 1945. For his time in the service he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 13 clusters and a Purple Heart. Upon his return to the United States, McLane entered Dartmouth College and he skied four-events for the ski team in 1946, 1947 and 1948.

Born on October 3, 1924 and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, Malcolm McLane slid down local hills on toe-strap slats as a boy. This typical introduction to skiing for a youngster of New England’s snow country in the late 1920s and early 1930s did not foretell his future contributions to the sport as a ski sport builder.

By the mid-190s, Malcolm had mastered a competence on the boards that previewed his skiing for St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire and for Dartmouth College. He became a four-event competitor of high caliber. A member of the 1946, 1947 and 1948 Dartmouth teams, he was honored as its captain for the 1948 year. The 1948 winter saw Malcolm participating in the European Student Ski Championships at Sestriere, Italy where he placed second in downhill. Then came ski racing at Lenzerheide, Switzerland and the Arlberg-Kandahar at Murren.

Following graduation from Dartmouth, Malcolm entered Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. Scholarship requirements included a provision that the recipient “demonstrate an interest and ability in sports”, which in the instance of Malcolm could be interpreted as having been ski sport. While studying overseas he skied for Oxford and competed at Sestriere, Italy in the 1949 Oxford-Cambridge University Championships.

The legal world called Malcolm after returning from England and he matriculated at Harvard Law School, laying a foundation for a future successful career as a partner in one of New Hampshire’s most prestigious law firms. His legal training stood him in good stead as a member of the city’s council (1956-1976) and its mayor (1970-1976). He married Susan Neidlinger, a world-renowned skier in her own right, and they became the parents of five skiing youngsters.

The ski trail had led Malcolm from the Uncanoonics of Goffstown, New Hampshire; Oak Hill at Hanover and Suicide Six of Woodstock, Vermont; past the now long forgotten Huckins Hill of Plymouth, New Hampshire; to Gunstock, Mt. Mooselauke, Spyglass Farm, Cannon, Wildcat and Tuckerman’s; to the white heights of Europe. Now at home in his native state at the dawn of the 1950s, there were new ski fields to contemplate but not before one last major racing challenge, the 1952 Mt. Washington Inferno. After that would be Veteran racing, officiating and work within the organizational framework of the National Ski Association enroot to becoming known as the United States Ski Association. Certified as a Divisional, National and F.I.S. official, Malcolm served from gatekeeper at beginner events to technical delegate for international F.I.S. calendar events. His efforts were always marked with the insight of a competitor, the skill of a learned technician and the wisdom of an experienced attorney.

He participated in projects that contributed to ski sport growth. One was the founding of the Wildcat Mountain Corporation of which he has served as president. He became a member of the Ski Club Hochebirge in 1950 and later a member of the Wildcat Mountain Ski Club.

Malcolm began a series of duties in 1953 that marked him as one of the greatest builders of the sport of skiing. In that year he was elected a director of the United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association, a post held for over ten years. In 1958, he began a tour of duty as a director of the National Ski Association, a post he held through the 1962 name change into the United States Ski Association. He accumulated a remarkable attendance record at national conventions during these years, being a delegate in 1955 and in 1957 through 1972. In 1964 Malcolm began a nine-year tour of duty as a Director of the United States Olympic Committee, representing skiing. As Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Ski Committee between 1957 and 1972, Malcolm oversaw U.S. participation in four Winter Olympics: 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1972.

The prestigious Blegen Memorial Plaque, presented annually to the USSA member who contributed outstanding service to ski sport, was awarded to Malcolm in 1960.

Malcolm McLane was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1973.

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