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Nelson Carmichael

Hall of Fame Class of 2008

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It was said of Nelson Carmichael that he possessed such excellent technique he could have raced successfully in alpine skiing events. He was so smooth on skis that he made everything look easy. He became fascinated with freestyle just as it was emerging as a serious form of competitive skiing.

Carmichael was born on November 19, 1965 in Columbus, Ohio. As a child he learned to ski at Kissing Ridge near Buffalo, New York but moved to Steamboat Springs when he was eleven. He joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, an opportunity that allowed him to ski constantly. He started his competitive career in alpine racing but eventually switched over to moguls freestyle skiing because he thought it looked like more fun.

In 1983 fresh out of high school, he was selected to be part of the U.S. Development Team.
The next year, although only 18 years old, he joined the World Cup tour and struggled for a time to be competitive. By 1988 he was winning events and captured his first World Cup title in moguls. That year he also attended his first of two Olympic Games.

In 1989 he won his second World Cup title. He then focused his preparation for the Albertville Games in 1992 when freestyle moguls along with aerials would become official Olympic events. There he won the bronze medal, the U.S.’s first Olympic medal in freestyle and the first Olympic medal won by a Colorado skier.

During his nine-year career on the U.S. Ski Team he won six national championships. He won 12 World Cup events and finished in the top three 31 times.

Following his retirement from the U.S. Ski Team in 1992 he joined the professional freestyle tour. He was the Coors Light Pro Tour champion in 1993, 1-800-Collect Pro Event Champion in 1995 and the SPRINT Bumps and Jumps Champion in 1997.

He has made numerous appearances as a television commentator for ABC and ESPN as well as doing appearances for television in Canada, Europe and Australia. He is involved in promotional efforts for Steamboat Springs ski area, equities and real estate projects. He has received recognition as Ski Racing’s Freestyle Skier of the Year; the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Skier of the Year and has been inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

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