James Harsh - Athlete - 1981


Hall
Jim Harsh was born in Molina, Colorado in 1909, carrying on his family's long history of Colorado residency which began in 1859.  Jim's father presented him with a pair of yellow pine Strand skis when Jim was 9, and he learned to use them on the ranch and around Hot Sulphur Springs, where he attended school.  This was an ideal place for a future champion to get his early training, and Jim's competitive record began in 1917 at the Annual Winter Carnival. Each year he placed high in the standings from that time until his retirement in 1935.  Jim entered Colorado Agricultural School in 1929 and developed campus interest in skiing by winning intercollegiate meets for the Aggies. He organized a ski club, and served as its first president in 1932. Because of his strength in jumping and cross-country, he was named to the Olympic Team as an alternate, thus becoming one of Colorado's first U.S. Olympic Team members.  In 1932, Jim was named chairman of a committee to initiate an Annual Grand Lake Winter Sports Week, which included jumping, sleigh riding, skating, and other winter sports. Jim reactivated the Estes Park Ski Club after moving there in 1946; the club rebuilt the old jumping hill and hosted a number of Nordic and Alpine meets. Jim was involved in every aspect of the planning and execution of these and other meets.  Jim is remembered for both his athletic record and his organizational abilities.  (Deceased)