Tom Gyger named as Maine Ski Hall of Fame inductee

Eight Maine skiers will be inducted at the 12th annual Maine Ski Hall of Fame banquet at Lost Valley on Oct. 24. Included in the class are a pied piper of cross-country skiing, a long-time college ski coach, a pioneering snowboarder, a big mountain skier who piled up first descents, a pair of Olympic alpine ski racers, and a Paralympic sit-skier.

Among this year’s inductees is Tom Gyger of South Bridgton, who is one of those ski patrolmen who has done far more than show up and patrol on weekends.

Rather than settle for simply meeting the standards of a Senior Patroller, the Bridgton native first got involved as a first aid instructor and went on to serve on the first aid staff at the Eastern Division’s junior Seminar, and then went on to serve on the National Junior Seminar’s Medical Staff. When National Ski Patrol transitioned from Red Cross First Aid to its own Winter Emergency Care program, Tom was in the middle of the work to make sure everything went smoothly. For his work and devotion, he was awarded the NSP Gold Merit Star.

Since the late 80s, when not on the slopes, Tom and his wife, June, have run the Five Fields Farm orchard in the hills of South Bridgton that was first planted by John Gyger in the 1920s. Five Fields Farm operates as a Nordic and snowshoeing center in the winter, offering 27km of snowshoe hiking and XC skiing on machine-groomed and back-country trails where the annual Musher’s Bowl and Lake Region Biathlon are held.

Tom was a special ed teacher before taking over the farm, although now he devotes his time to running the farm stand and winter sports operation.

With the induction of this class, the number of skiers recognized by the Hall of Fame since its first induction banquet in 2003 will reach 105. The Maine Ski Hall of Fame was formed to recognize those Maine skiers that have brought distinction to Maine skiing or made significant contributions to the sport. They may include competitors, coaches, instructors, ski patrollers, ski area builders, managers and volunteers.

As a division of the Ski Museum of Mane, the Maine Ski Hall of Fame records the history of Maine skiing through the biographies produced for each class. To date, nearly 50,000 words have been written in the annual programs and are archived in the museum and on the website, www.skimuseumofmaine.org

The Ski Museum of Maine is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to preserve and publicize the business of skiing in Maine, while celebrating Maine’s ski history and heritage. The Ski Museum exhibits artifacts, photographs, artworks, and documents at its location in Kingfield, conducts educational programs to ski clubs, schools, libraries, historical and civic organizations, and hosts social events and activities throughout the year.

 

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