Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Hal O'Leary 1937
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1990
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Hal was a ski instructor at Winter Park when he volunteered to help with the Denver Children's Hospital amputee program in 1970, developing the program into the most comprehensive teaching organization existing today. His first manual, printed in 1973, The Winter Park Amputee Ski Teaching System, was translated into Japanese, Swedish, and Spanish.
Hal has developed innovative teaching techniques and pioneered adaptive equipment to help the disabled to ski. In 1981, he garnered the prestigious Golden Quill Award from the Ski Writers Association for individuals who make a significant contribution to the field of skiing. In 1982, a second major award, from the National Forest Service, was presented to Hal for his important utilization of forest land in the interests of the disabled. Hal wrote a ski teaching manual for the developmentally disabled: BOLD TRACKS: Skiing for the Disabled; published in 1987 by the National Special Olympics was the first definitive teaching manual for the disabled. In 1989 he presented the manual to the International Symposium on Adapted Physical Activity in Berlin.
Hal travels across the United States, Canada, and abroad teaching, consulting and developing other handicap programs and has made numerous training films on teaching the disabled to ski. Hal is also a spokesman for his cause to government. In 1989, his program provided close to 19,000 lessons for 2,500 participants; and offers more by giving the disabled an opportunity to again be involved in the mainstream of life through rehabilitation and recreation.