John McMurtry - Athlete - 1995
John McMurtry, a native Coloradoan, began a twenty-year career of coaching and organizing youth ski programs in 1971, while a graduate student at the University of Denver. As head technical coach for the women’s Olympic and World Cup Alpine Teams, his athletes won every major international title, including the Nation’s cup, and Olympic gold (1980 to 1984).This period is the most successful four years in the history of U.S. Alpine skiing. Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm and Denver Mayor W. H. McNichols, Jr. honored John on November 13, 1982 as 'John McMurtry Day' for his contributions to the state, city and skiing.As a result of an exhaustive testing program, John identified the first scientifically based physiological, biomechanical, and psychological parameters necessary for elite athletic performance in alpine skiing. Using his master’s thesis as the reference, John wrote and edited the United States Ski Team Alpine Training Manual (1976). This manual has become the reference for sports-specific conditioning and training of elite and recreational alpine skiers.He organized the first world cup races held in the state of Utah in 1985. In 1986, he presented a proposal for a national ski program to government leaders of the People’s Republic of China. As director for America’s youth ski programs, John organized the first comprehensive national junior development plan in 1987. During his tenure as U.S. Skiing Alpine Director (1988 to 1990), the U.S. world junior teams dominated the World Junior Championships winning fourteen medals. Presently, as vice-president for program advancement of the Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation in Vail, Colorado, John and his associates are working hard to prevent ski injuries through research and education and to increase lifelong enjoyment of sports through proper physical preparation.