The late Dr. Robert “Bob” Smith of Sun Valley, founder of Smith Goggle Co., is one of four men who have been inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame. The eclectic foursome collectively has left an indelible mark on winter sports.
Smith gave winter sports enthusiasts fog-free goggles.
Another 2013 inductee helped make ski lifts and trams safer in the U.S. and Canada. Another won national and international ski racing competitions. The final inductee made skiing an art form by fusing dance and “hot dog” skiing to give the world ballet skiing.
The four will swell the ranks of the Jean and Will Picket Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame to 58 during the 11th annual induction ceremonies and dinner on Thursday, September 26, at the Alf Engen Ski Museum at the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center at Utah Olympic Park. A reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and the induction ceremonies.
Along with Smith, the 2013 inductees are Dean Perkins, Ogden and Sun Valley, LeRoy Schultz, Salt Lake City and Alan Schoenberger, Salt Lake City.
· The late Dr. Robert Earl “Bob” Smith of Sun Valley, an orthodontist who made his first goggles by hand in the mid-1950s using dental tools, foam and glue while working on his kitchen table. His “Thermopane” goggle concept solved the problem of warmth from the face fogging the lens because it added a second lens that captured the sealed space between the two lenses. He formed Smith Goggle Co., which in the 1970s became the largest-selling ski goggle in the U.S.
Smith died April 18, 2012 at age 78. He was born May 12, 1933 in San Carlos, Ca. He attended Redwood High, Stanford University and San Francisco College of Dentistry. In 1957-58, after becoming an orthodontist, he worked in dentistry for the U.S. Army in Weisbaden, Germany. From there he traveled to Kitzbuehel, Austria every weekend, solidifying his desire to ski. In 1960 he transitioned from the Army to private practice in Marin County, Ca., specializing in children’s dental problems.
In 1964 he married his wife, Jean. His passion for skiing led the couple to Alta, Utah, where weather conditions and fogging goggles were the catalysts for Bob’s invention of the modern double-lens ski goggle.
With the help of his wife and his orthodontist’s skills, the two manufactured early goggle prototypes around the kitchen table. They ultimately formed what became the world-famous Smith Sport Optics. The company’s design and technology proved so effective that the uses expanded from the ski slopes to the U.S. military.
The other three inductees are:
· Dean Perkins, Ogden and Sun Valley, who won numerous downhill and giant slalom titles in U.S. National competitions in the 1950-55 era; was a member of the U.S. FIS World Cup Team in 1950-51; won the downhill and alpine combined in the All-European Command Ski Championships; won the inaugural Roche Cup on Aspen Mountain; operated a popular ski specialty shop in Ogden for 20 years; and launched the Perkins Ltd. Ski School, which evolved into the Ogden Standard Examiner Ski School.
· LeRoy Schultz, Salt Lake City, a mechanical engineer who has provided counsel and expertise for some 50 years to the U.S. Forest Service, the American Standards Institute, and to the skiing and insurance industries about designing, building and inspecting safer more reliable ski lifts, trams and gondolas in the United States and Canada.
· Alan Schoenberger, Salt Lake City, a professional skier, dancer and performer who meshed the art of ski ballet, professional dance, theater and music to put ballet skiing on the world's freestyle skiing agenda. Between 1974 and 1976 he had 16 first and second place international finishes in ballet skiing, including the 1976 World Ballet Skiing Championship. He and his father developed the ski carpet used at ski venues, training sites and entertainment shows; has written and produced ski instructional books and videos, and in 2011 received the National Ski Hall of Fame “Pioneer of Freestyle Skiing Award.”
According to Barbara Yamada, chair of the Utah Ski Archives Advisory Board that oversees the hall of fame selection process, each honoree will receive a glass plaque bearing his likeness and a biographical overview of his accomplishments and achievements that merit hall of fame status.
A duplicate plaque will be enshrined in the Will and Jean Pickett Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame, which was formed in 2002 and located in the main foyer of the Alf Engen Ski Museum. The hall is named in recognition of the late ski enthusiasts who lived in Salt Lake City.
Yamada informs that the hall of fame selections are made annually by knowledgeable winter sports historians from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Selection is based on outstanding achievements in the areas of skiing competition, skiing innovations, ski sport development and significant contributions to the overall promotion of winter sports in the Intermountain West.
Nominees originate with the public and with volunteer members of the Ski Archives Advisory Board.
Past inductees to the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame to date:
2002: Junior Bounous, Zane A. Doyle, Alf M. Engen, Sverre Engen, Karre “Corey” Engen, Gretchen K. Fraser, W. Averell Harriman and S. Joseph “Joe” Quinney.
2003: Stein Eriksen, Bill Briggs and Axel Andreason.
2004: Pepi Steigler, “Mayor” George Watson, Suzy Harris Rytting, Bill Lash, Bill Spencer and Edward L. Scott.
2005: Edgar B. Stern, Jr., Neil Rafferty, M. Earl Miller, Lou Lorenz, Keith Lange and James R. Gaddis.
2006: Marv Melville, Cal McPhie, Dick Movitz, Dev Jennings, Jack Reddish and Marthenius (Mark, M.A.) Strand.
2007: Ted Johnson, Paul McCollister, Woody Anderson, K Smith, Pete Karns and Margo Walters-McDonald.
2008: Alvin F. Cobabe, Albert “Sunny” Korfanta and Pat Miller.
2009: Richard D. (Dick) Bass, Siegfried (Sigi) Engl, Alan K. Engen and Mike C. Korologos.
2010: Peter S. Ecker, Claude F. Jones, Karen Korfanta and Gregory C. Thompson.
2011: Kit DesLauriers, William (Bill) Levitt, Raymond R. Steward, and Dean Robert (Bob) Theobald.
2012: Beat von Allmen, Lyle B. Nelson, Phil Jones, Karen-Budge Eaton.