Hall of Fame Class of 2019
Ever the ultimate professional, multi-talented Scott Brooksbank “took freestyle to a new level” as an athlete, coach, and organizer.
He’s been called “the most decorated freestyle skier in history.”
During the sport’s 1970s heyday, he won five world titles, made more than 40 podium appearances,
and collected multiple titles in all three of freestyle’s widely diverse disciplines: moguls, aerials, and ballet.
In the freewheeling, ever-evolving, first decade of the renegade sport, one thing was certain: No one could match Brooksbank’s commitment.
Brooksbank came late to skiing, and had to outwork the field to rise to the top. He had a competitive diving background and some experience at small ski areas near his Minnesota home, when he showed up in Vail for the 1971 winter.
A year later, he would drive away with freestyle skiing’s most valuable price, winning the Chevrolet Exhibition Skiing Championships and a Corvette.
It was the first of “four or five” cars he won during his career, he can’t remember, and he had to sell them anyway…because he couldn’t afford the insurance.
In 1976, Ski Racing named him International Freestyle Skier of the Year, and he was Skiing’s pick as Men’s Freestyle Skier of the Year.
He was a highly respected coach and mentor to hundreds of future freestylers, skied on various demo teams and exhibition tours in spreading the freestyle mantra globally. He was also featured in more than 25 ski films or videos, including a half-dozen Warren Miller films, where his fearless and adventurous style had the film crew so captured that they had to resist running too much Brooksbank footage in their movies.
He appeared on five SKI and Skiing magazine covers.
In 1993, he launched the alternative ‘Ski with the Legends’ program at Northstar in California, banking on the concept that there were plenty of Baby Boomers who grew up idolizing the ’70s freestylers who would want to ski with their childhood heroes. He was right.
Brooksbank kept on going as a coach and athlete in the 1980s and ’90s, mentoring a junior national champion as the director of Freestyle Skiing at Sunday River in 1990 and 1991, and competing in the Legends of Freestyle from ’92-’96.
Through all the titles, podiums and cars won, Brooksbank cites his organizational role in the late 1970s, as insurance concerns grounded the once-lucrative U.S. tours, as the highlight of his career.
He was a board member of the Freestyle Skiers of America and worked to put together the World Cup Freestyle Tour. Brooksbank also provided the critical bridge to freestyle becoming part of the FIS World Cup tour and with moguls finally joining the Olympic family at the 1992 Albertville Games.
For taking the sport of freestyle to a new level,
Scott Brooksbank earns induction into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.
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