Richard "Dick" Durrance (October 14, 1914 - June 13, 2004) was an 17-time national championship skier and one of the first American skiiers to compete successfully with European skiiers.
Durrance, who was born in Tarpon Springs, Florida, moved with his family to Garmisch, Germany in 1928. In Germany, Durrance skied competitively, winning the German Junior Alpine Championship in 1932. He attended Dartmouth College in 1934 and won at Sestriere , Italy, the first American to dominate at a major European ski race. Durrance also won the U.S. men's downhill, slalom and Alpine combined events in 1937 and was named to the U.S. Olympic Team for the 1936 Winter Olympics, finishing eighth in the slalom and 11th in the downhill events.
Following World War II, Durrance was hired to manage the Aspen Ski Corporation in Aspen, Colorado. The struggling company was turned around by Durrance, who brought the 1950 World Championships to Aspen. Hosting the Championships put Aspen on the map and Aspen is now one of the most popular ski resorts in the United States. Durrance also produced a number of ski films and devoted most of his life to the promotion of the sport of skiing.
Durrance died on June 13, 2004 in Carbondale, Colorado of natural causes.
Last updated: 05-07-2005 11:28:24
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04