Otto Schniebs (deceased)
Year Inducted: 1967
Born: 1892, Esslingen, GER
Died: October 8, 1971, Wilmington, NY
Otto Schniebs was a dynamic pioneer force who was one of the earliest exponents in America of downhill skiing. He set up one of the first ski schools in America near Waltham, Massachusetts in 1927 shortly after having immigrated to the United States. He was an active promoter of the sport and, for example, through connections with the Mount Greylock Ski Club, helped to introduce skiing in the Berkshire Mountains.
With John McGrillis, he wrote the first instructional book on skiing in 1931. He coached a variety of winter sports at Dartmouth College from 1930 to 1936. He was the first director of the ski school for instructors organized by the US Eastern Amateur Ski Association. He also was the ski coach at St. Lawrence University from 1941 to 1956. Altogether 16 of his students made US Olympic Teams. He designed Whiteface Mountain, which eventually was the site for the alpine events at the 1980 Olympics.
Schniebs Pass near Aspen, CO is named after him. It was Otto Schniebs who coined the phrase, "Skiing is more than a sport, it is a way of life."