USSA Mourns Loss of Ski Racing Pioneer
PARK CITY, UT (May 28) --The USSA is saddened to learn of the death of U.S. skiing leader Warren Witherell. Warren died Monday, May 26th surrounded by family and friends at his home in Cornwall, VT. He was 79.
Warren was a legend in ski racing. Raised in Albany, NY, he was first drawn to Burke Mountain in Vermont to run the seasonal ski racing club. He subsequently founded Burke Mt. Academy, the United State’s original ski racing academy, in 1970. He remained headmaster until 1984. Designed to prepare American racers for competition against the Europeans, Burke Academy quickly led the way for American ski academies under Warren’s vision and leadership, producing four members of the 1976 Olympic team. Burke has produced an astounding 130 U.S. Ski Team members and 29 Olympians since its inception
"Warren's launch and the subsequent growth of Burke Mountain Academy influenced the development of ski clubs and academies throughout the country," said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. " He set the bar for a commitment to athletics and academics and producing some of our best athletes while achieving high academic success."
Equally talented on snow and water, Warren had many waterskiing firsts, setting records and winning several national and international championship titles including world trick waterskiing at age 18. An accomplished waterski jumper and slalom skier, Warren was inducted into the USA Waterskiing Hall of Fame in 1984. Sharing his knowledge, Warren wrote two books, “The Athletic Skier” (1993) and “How Racers Ski” (1980) which is the largest selling ski book in history. Warren was an alpine coach for 55 years and was always willing to share lessons and ideas from the Burke Mt. Academcy. He was inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in 1998.
"For three decades Warren influenced many ski racers and coaches and impacted hundreds of lives and careers," said Shaw. "U.S. skiing has lost a thoughtful leader that produced World and Olympic Champions. He will be sorely missed."