U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame announces latest inductees

Brendan Farrell
Park Record
Shannon Dunn-Downing, a graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, competed in the first Olympics to have snowboarding events in 1998 in Japan. She won a bronze medal in women’s halfpipe, becoming the first female from Steamboat to win a medal.
Shannon Dunn-Downing/Courtesy photo

PARK CITY, Utah — The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame announced its induction class of 2022 on Monday during a Hall of Fame fundraiser in Park City. 

This year’s class includes snowboarder and X Games gold medalist Tina Basich, Olympic medalist and snowboarder Shannon Dunn-Downing, snowboarder Terry Kidwell, speed skier C.J. Mueller, freeskiing pioneer Kent Kreitler and alpine coach Phil McNichol. Ski Racing International Publisher Gary Black, Mammoth Mountain and Alterra Mountain Company leader Alan Gregory and adaptive snowsports pioneer Gwen Allard are also part of this year’s class. 

“The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 represents some true luminaries who have achieved great success – not just for themselves, but in helping elevate our sports of skiing and snowboarding,” said Brian Fairbank, Hall of Fame member and chair, in a release. “Our double induction at Big Sky Resort this March will be a wonderful way for our entire sport to celebrate their accomplishments.”

While the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame is at the Utah Olympic Park, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame can be found in Ishpeming, Michigan, the birthplace of what was previously known as the National Ski Association. Every year, the Hall’s induction ceremony takes place at a prestigious national resort, with the next one planned for Big Sky Resort in Montana. Additionally, the class of 2021 will be honored on March 24, 2023, while the 2022 class will have its induction on March 25. 

The class of 2021 includes Parkite Alan Schoenberger, a freestyle skier who was known for his work in ski ballet. Schoenberger’s entry on the Alf Engen Ski Museum’s website credits him with finishing in first or second place at 16 international ballet skiing competitions between 1974 and 1976. Whether it has been working with skiing simulators or starring in theatrical ski shows, Schoenberger has a stacked resume.

“It’s still surreal to me in a way,” Schoenberger said. “My life, I’m just plugging away at doing cool stuff. And we’ve been able to develop over the years simulation devices, working with ski racers – stuff like that – building my new show. … Just being recognized, it’s really surreal to me. There’s part of me that is saying I’m not sure I’m really alive, experiencing this.”

Schoenberger graduated from Utah State University and has lived in Park City for over 20 years. He had a background in dance and loved skiing, so ski ballet was a natural fit.

“Freestyle ballet, to me, was a way to merge those two things that I really loved a lot,” Schoenberger said. “I didn’t so much care about competing, but it was the stage for me to perform on. And it just so happened that it worked out pretty good for me.”

Ski ballet was a demonstration sport at the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics, but it never became a full-fledged Olympic sport. Schoenberger compared it to dance or figure skating on skis. While ski ballet might be in the annals of Olympic history, Schoenberger’s impact on skiing, as well as the rest of his fellow inductees, will live on.

“When I was a little kid, this big, how do you know that you’re going to grow into doing something that you really love, and you’re recognized for it?” he said. “That’s kind of how I feel on it.”

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