Freeskiing Pioneer Kent Kreitler Among 9 Inductees into US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame

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Kent Kreitler. Credit: Facebook

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame has selected nine individuals for induction in March 2023. The athletes and sport builders in the class of 2022 were selected by a national panel of voters.

Amongst the nominees is Kent Kreitler. Growing up racing at Sun Valley, ID, Kreitler skied at Vail during his college days, followed by Telluride, CO, and Jackson Hole, WY, before settling in Squaw Valley, CA. It was here that he skied regularly with Shane McConkey (the two were roommates at CU Boulder), Robb Gaffney, Dean Conway, Shane Anderson, and Chuck Patterson.

“Squaw is like a huge terrain park. It got me into jumping. The mountain has tons of challenging cruise-type lines and air. I just got more and more solid. I felt like I was on the progressive end of a new movement.”

– Kent Kreitler

kent kreitler
Kent Kreitler performing the first documented example of a grab? Credit: Obermeyer

Many consider him the inventor of modern skiing, and he is often attributed as the first skier to perform a grab.

Kent Kreitler

A pioneer in the progression of his sport, Kent Kreitler is known as one of the most influential athletes in the early days of freeskiing. He was both a successful competitor and a big mountain filmer, with more than 100 first descents to his credit. He began his career as a competitive freestyle skier when an injury pushed him into filming, where he starred in countless TGR, Matchstick, and Warren Miller productions.

Other inductees include X Games gold medalist, U.S. Open champion and Boarding for Breast Cancer pioneer Tina Basich; America’s first Olympic snowboard medalist Shannon Dunn-Downing; “father of freestyle snowboarding” Terry Kidwell; speed skier C.J. Mueller; one of the U.S. Alpine Ski Team’s most successful coaches, Phil McNichol; longtime Ski Racing International publisher Gary Black (posthumous); Mammoth Mountain and Alterra Mountain Company leader Alan “Rusty” Gregory; and adaptive snowsports pioneer Gwen Allard.

“The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 represents some true luminaries who have achieved great success—not just for themselves, but in helping elevate our sports of skiing and snowboarding. Our double induction at Big Sky Resort (Mont.) this March will be a wonderful way for our entire sport to celebrate their accomplishments.”

– Hall of Fame board chair Brian Fairbank

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is held each year at a major national resort, with subsequent enshrinement at the Hall in Ishpeming, Mich. The March 2023 ceremony at Big Sky Resort will be the first to feature a dual induction: In catching up following pandemic delays, the class of 2021 will be celebrated on Friday, March 24, 2023, and the class of 2022 will be inducted on Saturday, March 25.

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6 thoughts on “Freeskiing Pioneer Kent Kreitler Among 9 Inductees into US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame

  1. One of the best skiers I ever had the pleasure to ski with, this guy is an animal. Tearing up Squaw daily. Just don’t leave him alone with your powder stash on the table. Guy sniffed up my entire mount everlast of blow and it hardly did anything to him

  2. Culture Vulture
    Another white man with dreads, probably smoking newports, having kids with random woman and NOT being a father to them. the guy is not my Hero

  3. Well you only wish you could be a legendary skier like Kent Kreitler, obviously with all your negativity, so yeww should seriously get a clewww.

  4. Does using a helicopter to bag a peak count as a first descent? Over 100 first descents sounds like a barstool tale to me, name them. Squaw Valley, CA doesn’t have a ski area, Olympic Valley does. Who writes these lies?

  5. I feel bad for Kent, the dude did so much for the sport of extreme skiing. He pushed it too far though. When you’ve bagged over 100 first descents, it becomes increasing difficult to catch that next dose of adrenaline. He wasn’t able to live a normal life after being the top extreme skier in the world. The doctors told that he had used up all the dopamine and his body could no longer make it. Unfortunately that’s not all that suffered. Kent told me at the X-Games in Crested Butte that the docs had to prescribe viagra as well. Just goes to show that being extreme isn’t the best way to live your life, ask Kent. He loves to share his stories.

  6. Kent cratered on some of the biggest air ever off the fingers of KT22 Squaw Valley yes Squaw Valley extreme skiing event, once back in the day when skis were skinny and long and you had to have serious skills unlike today.
    Way to go Kent

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