Park Smalley - Athlete - 2003
Park Smalley has been instrumental in developing what was once a dangerous hot-dog sport into the controlled and safe freestyling sport of today.In 1972, he performed his first back flip on skis at a Salt Lake City hot-dog meet and was hooked. With the vision of what freestyle skiing could become, he helped initiate the International Freestyle Skiers Association and the first professional freestyle tour.In 1976, he opened up a summer freestyling camp at Steamboat Springs that marked the beginning of his long association as coach of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.By 1983 Park had become the first U.S. Freestyle Team head coach, a position he held throughout the decade. During his tenure, the U.S. Freestyle team won four Nation’s Cup titles, produced nine Grand Prix champions, four World Champions and posted more World Cup victories than any ski team in U.S. history. On the international front, he helped freestyle skiing gain demonstration status at the 1988 Olympic Games.In 1989, he returned to Steamboat to become head coach of the local team. The Park Smalley Freestyle Aerial Complex at Howelsen Hill is a reminder of the priceless contribution he has made to the skiing world.