Paula Kann Valar
Hall of Fame Class of 1970
Paula Kann was a protégée of Hannes Schneider and Toni Matt and was a threat in every alpine race she ever entered. Kann dominated the Eastern Amateur racing scene during World War II and shortly after.
Paula Kann Valar was born in Vienna, Austria on February 1, 1922, lived in North Conway, New Hampshire and attended schools in Austria and London, England. She was an excellent alpine skier, representing the Eastern slope ski Club of North Conway, New Hampshire.
The first post-war National Ski Association National Alpine Championships in 1946 saw Paula win the downhill and place third in the slalom at Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire with the top talented women skies from all points in the United States and Eastern Canada on hand for the event. This impressive showing started her on a brilliant national and international career and the name, Paula Kann, became commonplace at events nationwide as well as in Europe, particularly in Austria.
Paula’s race record was outstanding. She won all the top events in the country including: the Kate Smith International Team Trophy Slalom in 1944, an across the board sweep of the 1947 Nationals, Olympic tryouts at Snow Basin, Utah, fourth in the National Giant Slalom in 1949 and sixth in the Combined in the North American Championships that same year.
Paula was also a member of the 1948 United States Olympic Women’s Alpine Team, skiing in St. Moritz, Switzerland, placing eleventh in the Olympic slalom. She was on the United States F.I.S. Team in 1950 as well.
She and her husband, Paul, were both certified professional ski instructors in the United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association. Both continued to serve skiing as professional instructors at the Mittersill Ski Area near Franconia, New Hampshire.
Paula Kann Valar was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.
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