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Trace Worthington

Hall of Fame Class of 2006

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Trace Worthington was born in Minnesota and first donned skis there at the age of two. However, it was not long after that his family moved to Winter Park, Colorado. Growing up he engaged in all mainstream sports from hockey to baseball to skiing. He liked to do everything and had a natural talent for sports. Eventually, the boards on snow won out over the others, a great gain for the US Ski Team.

He developed a love for doing aerial tricks on his backyard trampoline. It became a major training method for doing tricks on skis and today his company, Flying Ace Productions, still does trampoline exhibitions and shows across the country.

He entered his first freestyle competition at the age of 14 competing in the three disciplines of the day, Ballet (now known as acro), aerials and moguls. In 1986 he won the aerials event at the World Junior Championships. The following year he won the US Junior aerials title.

Trace “the Ace” was the force to contend with in freestyle skiing during much of the 1990’s. His first of an incredible 39 World Cup wins came in 1990 in LaClusaz, France. That would be the site for his extraordinary results at the World Championships, five years later when he won gold medals in both the aerials and combined events. That achievement has never been duplicated in freestyle skiing. As proof of his consistency and domination, prior to his retirement in 1997, he would reach the podium 79 times, claimed 39 World Cup events and won the coveted FIS World Cup crystal globe 7 times between three categories – aerials, combined and overall.

Trace Worthington is proud of the fact that he was able to follow in the footsteps of his great grandfather, Harry Worthington, who competed in Track and Field events at the 1912 Olympic Games. Trace was named to the U.S. Olympic Team in 1992 when freestyhle was still a demonstration event. He also competed in Lillehammer in 1994 finishing fifth in the aerials, the best result by a U.S. competitor.

An innovator, he was the first American to successively perform a quadruple twisting triple back flip on snow. Ski Racing Magazine names him U.S. Freestyle Skier of the Year in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. It also named him International Skier of the Year in 1993.

On and off again vertigo attacks at the end of the 1996 season made it dangerous for him to compete, forcing his retirement from freestyle skiing. Worthington has gone on to a successful post competitive career with his own entertainment/show company featuring the top aerialists and trampolinists, and as a commentator for Versus, CBS Sports, and as the lead freestyle skiing analyst for NBC’s world cup coverage and the Olympic Games. He has appeared in eight skiing films including three by Warren Miller.

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