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Jimmie Heuga

Jimmie Heuga exemplifies the best of the Far West Ski Association. He is a product of the Far West Junior Racing Program and the Lake Tahoe Ski Club. He started skiing at age three with his father at Squaw Valley, participated in many Sacramento Bee races and, ultimately, joined the US Ski Team. Jimmie won a Bronze in slalom at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria

A week later, Jimmie won the combined at the prestigious Arlberg-Kandahar in Garmisch, Germany, so far, the only American to do so.

In 1966, Jimmie finished fourth in the combined at the World Championships in Portillo, Chile. The following year he skied to a third place overall in World Cup giant slalom. He had two top-ten finishes at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. His ten years on the US Ski Team ended in 1968. Jimmie was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1976.

Jimmie’s greatest challenge commenced with disturbing health indications in 1967 and a final diagnosis in 1970 as having Multiple Sclerosis (MS). After a period of indecision as to his course of action, he started a three-year personal program of rehabilitation in 1976. He created a program of cardiovascular endurance, stretching and strengthening exercises. He moved back to the mountains and resumed skiing. After this period, he started his own outreach program for persons with MS, founding the Jimmie Heuga Center in 1984. The center in Avon, Colorado is dedicated to “reanimating the physically challenged” to regain a quality of life. The center also supports scientific research.

The Jimmie Heuga Award is given to the individual who, like Jimmie, has made a significant contribution to disabled skiing and/or has overcome a physical disability and has been an inspiration to others. This award may only be received once.

Click on an underscored name to download the pdf citation.

Year  Awardee
2019 Hannah Nishimoto, The Unrecables
2018 Dee Armstrong, The Unrecables
2017 Kate Togneri, Can Do MS
2016 Dave Ludwig, Hope on the Slopes
2015 David Briery, US Adaptive Recreation Center, Big Bear, CA
2014 Lee Perry, Jr., Adaptive Ski Program, Mt. Hood Meadows
2013 Fred Noble, Ski to Defeat ALS
2012 Chris Waddell, US Para-Olympian
2011 Dianna Digiandomenico, The Unrecables
2010 Linda Whittle, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis
2009 Will Niccolls and Ed Bronsdon, Outdoors for all Foundation
2008 Tom Peirce, US Adaptive Recreation Center, Big Bear, CA
2007 Lawrence 'Chad' Chadwick, Oregon Cancer Ski Out
2006 Sigrid Noack, The Unrecables
2005 Muffy Davis, US Para Olympian
2004 J. Ben Velasquez, Organ Donor
2003 Chris Klug, US Olympic Medalist
2002 Gordon Cardona, The Unrecables
2001 Billy Kidd, Steamboat Springs
2000 Mark Wellman, Para Climber
1999 Norm Cox, US Adaptive Recreation Center, Big Bear, CA
1998 Candice Cable, US Para-Olympian Medalist
1997 Rick Van Aken, Bear Valley Adaptive Ski Program
1996 Jim Ortiz, US Adaptive Recreation Center, Big Bear, CA
1995 Sara Tully, US Adaptive Recreation Center, Big Bear, CA
1994 KelLe Malkewitz, Director US Adaptive Recreation Center
1993 Tahoe Adaptive Ski School, Alpine Meadows
1992 Hal O’Leary, Founder National Sports Center for the Disabled at Winter Park
1991 Linda Fryback, Unrecables
1990 Sallie Pritchard, Founder California Handicapped Ski School
1989 Douglas Pringle, Tahoe Adaptive Ski School
1989 Lynne Haile, Pierce College Handicapped Program
1988 Steve Kanaly, March of Dimes
1987 James Stacey, Actor

Jimmie Heuga
Sept. 22 - Feb. 8, 2010

Long time friend and team mate, Billy Kidd (2001), wrote the following at Jimmie's passing.

"Jimmie was the personification of determination and never giving up — he inspired so many people. Jimmie's accomplishments on the race course will forever be remembered. But it's his accomplishments and drive in the fight against MS that will continue to help so many people live their lives. His life is an inspiration."

Sallie Pritchard ('90) and Tom Peirce ('08) present the Jimmie Heuga Award to David Briery in 2015. All are part of the US Adaptive Recreation Center in Big Bear, CA.

Dianna Digiandomenico
(2011) with Blaze and Kelly Heuga.

Jimmie with Chris Klug (2003).


Steve Coxen
Far West Service Awards Chair
503-679-9022 [c]


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