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Tyler Palmer

Hall of Fame Class of 2011

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The 1970s were a pivotal period for skiing in America. The sport was growing and ski racing was center stage with a host of rising stars. Foremost among them was Tyler Palmer, a dominant racer on the newly formed FIS World Cup circuit and the first American to crack the top three in slalom in the season-long international series. Throughout the 1970s, Tyler Palmer was a star both on the World Cup circuit and the World Pro Ski Tour.

As a junior ski racer, Palmer was hard to beat. He seemingly was always on the podium, winning race after race – except when he was beaten by his younger brother Terry.

Palmer won the Junior Nationals in 1969 and joined the U.S. Ski Team. He skied in the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, finishing 9th in slalom. He also won three World Cup slalom races and in 1972 became the first American to finish in the top three in the World Cup slalom standings.

After leaving the U.S. Ski Team, Palmer became a star performer on Bob Beattie’s World Pro circuit. He joined Jean-Claude Killy on the Rossignol Pro team. Palmer was the top American on the growing tour, winning five races and becoming one of the few racers who could be competitive and beat Killy.

After retiring from racing, Palmer continued to be involved with skiing. He was national Masters Champion several times. Palmer coached junior skiers for many years, both in the Northeast and in the West, recently retiring after many years in the Sun Valley Ski Team Program.

Ski racing has been Tyler Palmer’s life. As an athlete, he was foremost in his sport over the course of a decade. As a coach, he gave back so that hundreds of young racers could experience the same joy and sense of accomplishment he felt as one of America’s greatest ski racers.

Career Highlights:

1969: Won Junior Nationals and moved up to the U.S. Ski Team
1972: 9th at the Olympics in Sapporo and won 3 World Cup slaloms
1972: Became the first American to finish in the top three in World Cup slalom standings

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