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Richard Movitz

Hall of Fame Class of 1970

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Richard “Dick” Movitz was born in Utah in 1927. He was one of a new breed of young skiers who emerged from the armed forces after World War II to compete successfully and set new standards in competition.

Richard “Dick” Movitz’ competitive career began in 1938 as a racer for the Little Kandahar Ski Club and a hickory flier at the Utah Ski Club’s famed Ecker hill. He reached Franconia fresh from Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he had rides of 200 and 205 feet, good enough to place 11th in the Class ”B” division of the Nationals.

Following World War II Private First Class Dick Movitz won the National Slalom Championships at Franconia, New Hampshire on March 3, 1946. A 19 year old on a 60 day special leave from the air Force’s Arctic Training School in Northwestern Canada, Movitz picked up 6th spot in alpine combined, having placed 13th in the open downhill race against 89 competitors. The American Ski Annual reported: “Richard Movitz running the course in a sort of jackrabbit style of 50% in the air and the balance in fast motion, weaving through the flags to secure an undisputed 1st place of 1::40.4, followed by the smooth artists of the slalom Barney McLean in 1:43.5 and Toni Matt in 1:44.1.”

The only other starring newcomer youngster that day was Canada’s Harvey Clifford who placed 3rd in combined and, who like Movitz, would go on to international fame as a youth began to take over the sport on both sides of the border. Down the trails were even more events, each in its own way leading toward the F.I.S. World Championships of 1950 in Aspen, Colorado and the 1960 Winter Olympics in California’s Squaw Valley.

Movitz soon had swept the downhill, slalom and combined of the Reno Ski Club’s famous Silver Dollar and California Ski Association Championships. During the Alta Cup Races, Movitz placed 2nd in combined to Canada’s veteran open-class, Johnny Fripp. At that time the Alta Cup was a three-way with Movitz winning the giant slalom, placing 4th in slalom and 9th in downhill.

Enrolled at the University of Utah and a member of its championship team, he won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Slalom Championships in 1947. During the 1947 Nationals at Snow Basin, Utah only Switzerland’s Karl Molitor outdid him in the slalom. Many other alpine racing wins would be lashed to Dick’s belt and then would come his participation in the 1948 Winter Olympics at St. Moritz, Switzerland and the F.I.S. World Championships of 1950 in Aspen.

Movitz became one of the youngest alpine officials ever when the National Ski Association tabbed him to serve on the International Competition Committee during 1956, 1957 and 1958. Serving as a member of the 1960 Olympic Committee was another honor for him.

Richard Movitz was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.

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