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Steve Knowlton

Hall of Fame Class of 1975

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Information submitted to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in a nomination letter written by Art Masbruch, USSA Director, Denver, Colorado.

Steve P. Knowlton’s contribution to skiing covered the entire spectrum of the sport and earned him coveted awards as an outstanding athlete and builder of the sport.

Steve Knowlton was born August 3, 1922 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attended the Holderness School at Plymouth, New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire.

Knowlton’s competitive career dates back to 1938 when he attended the Holderness Prep School which had a strong ski program. In 1941-42, he was a member of the University of New Hampshire Ski Team.

Knowlton served with the 10th Mountain Division (ski troops) in the Aleutian Islands and Italy during World War II. In 1942 Knowlton tied for 1st in downhill and was 3rd in slalom and 1st in combined at the Alta Cup, Utah. In 1945, he raced in Europe, taking 3rd in the Grosslockner (Australia) and 1st in the 10th Mountain Division Race (Italy).

Returning to the United States in 1946, Knowlton placed 2nd in giant slalom at the Silver Belt race, Sugar bowl, California. He went on to place 1st in downhill in the U.S. National Downhill Championships at Franconia, New Hampshire where he skied for the Aspen Ski Club and took 4th in the slalom event.

In the SRMSA (now Rocky Mountain Division), Knowlton was the 1946 Men’s Slalom Class “A” Champion, 1st in Men’s Open Class Slalom, 2nd in Men’s Downhill Class “A”, 2nd in Men’s Downhill Open event and 2nd in Men’s Combined “A” and Open classes. In 1947, Knowlton was again the SRMSA (RMD) champion for Men’s Downhill Class “A” event and 2nd for Men’s Downhill Open event.
In 1948, as a member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, Knowlton took a 15th place in slalom at St. Moritz. In 1949, he was 3rd in Men’s Slalom and Combined events in the SRMSA. In 1950, Knowlton was an F.I.S. team member. In 1951, he placed 2nd in Class “A” Slalom in SRMSA and in 1952 recaptured 1st place in Men’s Slalom Open competition and 3rd in Men’s Downhill Open and Men’s Combined Open. In 1954, he placed 1st in the Men’s Slalom Championships and 1st in Slalom at Aspen. In 1955, he raced as a senior in the Silver Belt race and took 3rd place. In 1957, Knowlton took first in the 1st National Veterans’ Race in slalom and combined events. He placed 2nd at the Silver Belt Seniors race at Sugar Bowl, California that year. In 1958, he again captured 1st place in Veterans’ I Downhill National Championships as well as 1st place in Veterans’ I Slalom and Veterans’ Combined in the USSA (previously NSA) Championships.

During the spring, summer and fall of 1948, Steve was a manufacturer’s representative selling ski equipment to sporting goods stores in 11 western states. During that winter, he taught skiing and operated his ski shop in Aspen. The following summer, 1949, he built the Golden Horn in Aspen, a well-known restaurant.

In 1958, Knowlton accepted a position with the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs as a publicity director and then as director of promotional planning. Then, Steve initiated the Broadmoor Ski Area – SKI BOARDMOOR – and became manager of it. He served as executive director of the 1962 World Hockey Tournament held at the Broadmoor and in Denver.

During the summer of 1963, he was asked to be the managing director of a new, non-profit organization designed to promote Colorado skiing to the world – COLORADO SKI COUNTRY, USA. Knowlton had two television shows and a daily radio program devoted to the sport of skiing and promoting Colorado skiing in general.

Steve actively participated as a fundraiser for the Denver Winter Olympics in 1968. He also was the announcer for the 8th Interski at Aspen that year and was awarded honorary membership in the Professional Ski Instructors of America.

Knowlton was as top-rated, certified national race official. A credit to ski sport, Steve was an aggressive competitor, official, business manager and promoter with a good sense of humor, devotion and ability.

Steve Knowlton was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1975.

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