individual has acquired the title of Olympian, it is his or
hers forever. The University of Utah has had in its ranks such athletes
who have earned that title through talent and skill, hard work, commitment,
and dedication. A select few of these alumni are featured in this issues
Through the Years section.
LM: Life Member AM:
D. Movitz BS49 was involved for a number of years
in Olympic and world skiing events. After
completing two years in the U.S. Air Force during World War II,
he returned to the U where he was a member of the NCAA national
champion ski team in 1947. Movitz competed with the 1948 U.S. Olympic
Alpine Ski Team in St. Moritz, Switzerland, racing in downhill and
slalom events. Two years later he was a member of the U.S. team
competing in the world ski championships in Aspen, Colorado, in
the slalom and giant slalom races.
Movitzs ski racing
career ended after that, but in the late 1950s he became a part
of the U.S. Ski Association and was chair of the International Competition
Committee in 1958. Then in 1960 he served as a member of the Olympic
Ski Committee in Squaw Valley, California. His son and two daughters
continue the skiing tradition.
With his skiing career
behind him, Movitz joined his fathers importing business,
from which he retired in 1996. He still keeps in close contact with
the U as a fan and a generous donor. He will be enjoying the 2002
Games from his home in Holladay, Utah. AM
Harris Rytting ex51 (better known as Suzy)
began skiing at the age of 13 and started racing with the Salt Lake
City East High team at the age of 15. As
a member of the U ski team, Rytting won the national downhill and
combined titles in 1948 and the national giant slalom championship
in 1951. In all, between 1947 and 1952 she was a seven-time national
Her first Olympic experience
was as second alternate with the 1948 team in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
She was named to the 1952 team for the Oslo Games after placing
fifth in the downhill, second in slalom, and fourth in combined
in the Olympic tryouts at Sun Valley, Idaho. Before she could compete,
Olympic officials discharged her from the team when it was revealed
that the flu-like symptoms she was experiencing were, in fact, the
first signs of morning sickness in her two-week-old pregnancy. Despite
doctors assurances that she could compete, the officials would
not allow it.
has been elected to the U.S. Ski Association National Ski Hall of
Fame, the Utah Sports Hall of Fame, the Crimson Club Hall of Fame,
the Salt Lake Tribunes top 50 athletes of the century, and
the Us Marriott Library Ski Archives Legends of Skiing. A
dedicated volunteer in her community, she has worked on a suicide
prevention hot line, and with the Childrens Center, the National
Charity League, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Salt Lake City, and
the U Crimson Club. She was named a community hero honorary torchbearer
for the 1996 Olympic torch relay. Rytting and her husband, William
ex46, have two daughters and four grandchildren, most
of whom are skiers.
A. Melville BS59 is an icon in the skiing
world. In honor of his many accomplishments, he was inducted
into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the University
of Utah Crimson Club Hall of Fame in 1992. Melvilles skiing
career began when he competed for Granite High School in Salt Lake
City from 1950 to 1953. Later, as a member of the U ski team, he
was voted All-American in recognition of his many achievements in
the sportNCAA wins in both downhill and slalom in 1959; member
of the 1956 U.S. Olympic ski team in the downhill races in Cortina
dAmpezzo, Italy; and a top 20 finisher with the 1958 National
Federation of Skiing team in Badgastein, Austria. Melvilles
Olympic experience continued in 1960 in Squaw Valley, California,
where he again raced for the United States in downhill competition.
In 1961 Melville turned
his attention to teaching. Along with two other ski enthusiasts,
he organized the Alpine Training School for junior ski racers in
Salt Lake City. In sessions at various junior and senior high schools,
the young students would practice on dry land, skiing year-around.
1963-66, Melville coached the U ski team, which finished second
in the NCAA using only half the number of skiers of the other teams.
During his years as U coach, at least four members of his team became
Olympic skiers. He coached the womens ski team in the 1964
Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria; was a member of the NCAA Skiing
Rules Committee and chair of the U.S. Ski Association Alpine Competitions
Committee; and in 1992-93, served as chair of the U.S. Ski Association
National Alpine Masters Committee.
With homes in Salt Lake
City and in Sun Valley, Idaho, Melville is still teaching skiingto
his five children and 27 grandchildren. AM
Allen Spencer BS61 was awarded the Pioneer of Progress
Award for Sportsmanship and Athletics in 2001, honoring his accomplishments
and service in marksmanship and cross-country skiing over the past
four decades. In his youth, Spencer became an expert skier, and
he learned marksmanship skills through his high school junior ROTC
program. His talent was further enhanced when he competed in cross-country
skiing at the U, and he honed his shooting abilities through service
in the National Guard. Combining these skills, he earned a place
on the U.S. Olympic Biathlon team in 1964 and 1968, and was U.S.
National Champion in 1965, 1966, and 1967. Spencer also competed
while in the military.
the Olympics, he turned to coaching and officiating. He was the
shooting coach of the U.S. Olympic team in 1976, 1980, and 1992,
and served as a referee through IBU International at the Nagano
Spencer is now assistant
chief of competition for biathlon at Soldier Hollow in Wasatch State
Park, Heber City, Utah, and will help conduct the biathlon programs
in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He is also a member of the J.
Willard Marriott Library Ski Archives Advisory Board. He is married
to Judith Spencer BS72.
Karns BS67 holds two records for best finishes
by an American in biathlon set during the 1972 Olympic
Winter Games in Sapporo. He placed 14th in the 20-kilometer biathlon
and was on the U.S. relay team that placed sixth in the biathlon
relay. These records still stand today, but he hopes they will be
broken in February 2002. Karns competed with the University team
from 1964-1967, during which time all team members were skimeisters
(competed in all four events). In the NCAA championships, he placed
third in 1965 and second in 1966. His favorite event was cross country,
in which he placed fourth in the NCAA in 1966. That year he was
also named NCAA All-American.
to his Olympic experience, he was a two-time national champion in
the U.S. biathlon competition. Karns was a coach for the U.S. biathlon
team from 1973-1976 and also coached the team for the 1976 Games
in Innsbruck, Austria. He will be a race official for the biathlon
events at the 2002 Games.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
is home to Karns and his wife, Jeanine, and his Real Estate of Jackson
Hole brokerage. Their three children are all skiers.
Curtis R. Canning MS73 MD73
was looking for a sport to join at the beginning of his freshman
year at Harvard University, he turned to rowing instead of football
(in which he had lettered at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City).
While it seems a strange choice for someone who hails from Utah,
a land-locked state with an average annual rainfall of 14 inches,
Canning felt that crew would leave more time for a steady job and
his studies. Not necessarily so. Little did I know then what
I was getting myself into, he comments. Every spare
moment was devoted to training.
became Harvards 95th heavyweight crew captain his senior year,
and he managed to hold down his job and graduate magna cum laude,
as well. His team participated in the Pan Am Games, the North American
Championships in St. Catherines (Ontario), the European Championships
in Vichy, France, and the Olympic Games in Mexico City (see And
1993, Canning and the entire crew were inducted into The Harvard
Varsity Club Hall of Fame at the Harvard Club of Boston.
A psychiatrist practicing
in Logan, Utah, Canning is currently president of the Utah Psychiatric
Association. He is married to Rebecca Petersen
While rowing may seem
a million miles away, there are reminders of competitions pastan
oar from the Pan Am Games tacked on a wall in his home, and occasional
reunions of the Harvard 68 crew of eight. AM
Bodensteiner BA94 is another repeat Olympian, having competed
in the 1992 and 1994 games.
cross-country skier, he raced in three different distances in 1992
and in four different distances in 1994. As a member of the U ski
team from 1989-1993, he won the NCAA championship twice as an individual
and once with his team, then took a leave from school in 1992 and
1994 when he raced overseas in the World Cup. Bodensteiner is involved
with the 2002 Olympic Winter Games as a member of the SLOC Board of
Trustees. He is also president of the Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation,
a nonprofit organization that will operate that venue after the Olympics.
He works as nordic director for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
and U.S. Ski Team and is a delegate to the International Ski Federation,
where he remains actively involved with U.S. Olympic athletes in cross
country, nordic combined, and ski jumping. Bodensteiners book,
Endless Winter: An Olympians Journal
(see Bookshelf), tracks his year leading up to the 1994 Games.
with his many ski awards and activities, particularly as a member
of the U ski team from 1959-1962, Alan Engen
BS63 BFA63 is chair of the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation
(see Bookshelf). He recently turned over
the ceremonial key to the museum, part of the newly completed Joe
Quinney Winter Sports Center in the Utah Olympic Park, to SLOC chair
Mitt Romney. The entire sports center and the adjoining day lodge
will be used to accommodate more than 400 media personnel who will
be covering the Olympic events staged in the park. Following the Winter
Games, the museum will house memorabilia of Alf Engen, along with
other historical ski items. Engen and David Amidon, executive director
of the museum, report that the museum will have multiple uses, including
an educational program headed by Ted Wilson
BS64 (AM) and Barbara Engen