Sven Wiik - Sport Builder - 1979
Sweden's loss was America's gain when Sven Wiik immigrated in 1949. His years of coaching at Western State College in Gunnison and more recently, at his Scandinavian Lodge near Steamboat Springs, have had tremendous influence on America's participation in international Nordic competition and the dramatic rise in popularity of cross-country skiing.As ski coach at Western State College in Gunnison for 19 years, Sven helped at least 12 members of his teams qualify to represent the U.S. in Olympic and FIS competition. He was selected to coach the U.S. team in the World Championships in Finland in 1958, the Olympic Games at Squaw Valley in 1960, and the International-University Competition in Italy in 1966. In the process, he helped gain acceptance by the NCAA of skiing as an intercollegiate sport, and served as a member of the original NCAA Ski Rules Committee. In addition, Sven has served on the USSA Nordic Competition Committee, USSA Olympic Ski Games Committee, U.S. Ski Education Foundation Board of Trustees, and the organizing committee for the 1980 Olympics.Author of several books on cross-country skiing and racing, Sven received the RMD's Halstead Award in 1970 and the USSA's Blegen Award in 1974.