Doug Muller: A forgotten legend |

Doug Muller: A forgotten legend

As Steamboat Springs prepares to celebrate Ski History Week on Wednesday through Sunday with the induction ceremonies of the 2015 class of the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, there is a local skiing legend I would like to recall.

I moved to Steamboat in 1973, and there was a skier who everyone knew. And if you saw him ski, your jaw would drop.

His name was Jack Taylor. He was a small man with a beard and always smiling. Little Jack Taylor was the king of moguls and three-time world champion. Back then, freestyle was just starting to become recognized as a legitimate sport.

Jack set the bar as high as it could go. The man was almost unbeatable. The reason for this letter is that Jack was not only a good friend, but a legend who started freestyle in Steamboat.

I myself competed for almost 15 years and was proud to call Steamboat Springs my home, because Jack Taylor was from here. I enjoyed seeing the growth of freestyle from Winter Carnivals to Park Smalley’s Great Western Freestyle Camps, to all the great freestyle skiers who followed. They include Paco Ward, David Camp, Rusty Taylor, Kris Feddersen, Cooper Shell and Nelson Carmichael.

All of them idolized Jack and valued his presence in Steamboat. It’s sad that the Steamboat Ski Corp. never recognized his greatness.

I live in Maui now, and my heart is still in Steamboat. I read Steamboat today regularly. I heard about the Hall of Fame coming to town and read about all the events celebrating the great legends of skiing. I sent an email to the Hall of Fame asking them to recognize this legend in Steamboat. I got a “Thanks, but we don’t have time or space to even mention his name.” My point is that Jack Taylor could be the greatest contribution to Steamboat freestyle dominance.

Jack Taylor died a few years back in a tragic boating accident. His name needs to be cemented in Steamboat’s history like those of Billy Kidd, Buddy Werner, Park Smalley and Nelson Carmichael.

Doug Muller

Maui, Hawaii

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