Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
OLAV PEDERSEN, 1917 - 2004
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1997
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Olav Pedersen came to the United States from Norway in 1964. His final destination was Breckenridge where his friends Trygve Berge and Sigurd Rockne persuaded him to teach in their ski school.
Born in Voss, Norway, Olav first strapped on skis at the age of three, and grew up competing in downhill ski racing and jumping. His acquaintance with cross country skiing was not as a sport, but more for transportation. As a member of the Norwegian underground during the German occupation, he retrieved supplies dropped by parachutes from British planes. He was later appointed to serve as Chairman of the 1955 Norwegian Nordic Skiing Championships.
He taught downhill skiing at Breckenridge from 1964 to 1980, when he retired to teach cross-country skiing at the Nordic Center. He has created the "Ski for Light" program, originating in Colorado, but has spread throughout the world. It includes instruction, fitness workshops and cultural activities, including ski races for the blind. He has coached the blind US Ski Team, created the Frisco Gold Rush Citizens' Race, and participates in the Rocky Mountain Senior Winter Games, and in the Jimmie Heuga Express charity races. At 80 years of age he is still going strong and his spirit and humility are most inspirational, as he feels he should give back what has been given to him.