Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame

President Gerald R. Ford 1913
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 2001
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President Gerald R. Ford, a graduate of the University of Michigan, was born in Nebraska and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  After receiving his under-graduate degree in Economics and Political Science, President Ford attended Yale University Law School, graduating in 1941.  A gifted athlete, Ford received offers from two professional football teams, the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, but chose instead to take a coaching position at Yale.  He served in the United States Navy for four years during World War II.  After a brief stint practicing law in Grand Rapids, President Ford began his political career when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1948.  Gerald R. Ford became President of the United States on August 9, 1974.  Since retiring from public issues, and working for charitable organizations, President Ford resides between Rancho Mirage, California and Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Most of the charitable work that President Ford is involved in is right here in Colorado Associated with the American Enterprise Institute, in 1982 President Ford established the AEI World Forum which he hosts annually in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado.  This is an international gathering of former and current world leaders and business executives to discuss political and business policies impacting current issues.  Ford was also responsible for raising successfully funds to build the Ford Amphitheater and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, both of which offer visitors to and residents of the State of Colorado a wonderful experience.

Gerald R. Ford was the 38th President of the United States and he became known as the first skiing president, putting Vail and Beaver Creek on the map as our country’s place to ski.  In a round about way he was selling skiing in Colorado to the entire world.  Gerald R. Ford started skiing back in 1939 in New England.  In 1968 Ford vacationed in Colorado for the first time and the rest is history.  Ford splits his time between homes in Colorado and California.  One of the many contributions Ford has made to the sport of skiing his role in bringing two World Alpine Ski Championships to the State of Colorado.  It was a major coup for the area to be awarded the event, giving Colorado a chance to promote ski racing in this country by taking one of the sport’s preeminent events, putting it in the forefront of national attention and showing the world the U.S. can hold a great ski race, twice in a ten year period.

Ford has served on the board of the Vail Valley Foundation for over twenty years.  Ford’s contributions to the ski industry are numerous.  He established the Ford Cup in Vail in 1982, which is now called the American Ski Classic.  He created the Jerry Ford Invitational Golf Tournament that lured top golf professionals from around the country to come to Colorado, promoting Vail not only as a great winter destination but summer as well.  This created an opportunity to raise funds that would be invested into the Vail community. President Ford acts as an ambassador of sorts, promoting not only Vail but also Colorado and the great skiing we have throughout the state.

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