Darrell ‘Pinky’ Robison (1931-2002)
The story lines of the ski racing career of Darrell ‘Pinky’ Robison range from working odd jobs in exchange for free skiing to being a fierce and determined competitor, winning on local, collegiate, national and international levels.
He moved from Peoria, Illinois to Salt Lake City at age 12 and quickly fell in love with skiing, hauling supplies to Alta’s Watson’s Shelter to earn a pass. Robison won the Harriman Cup downhill at Sun Valley in 1951, the Snow Cup at Alta in 1953 and the slalom in the Pan American Games in Bariloche, Argentina in 1954.
The pinnacle of his career came in 1952 when the U.S. Olympian finished 22nd in the Games in Oslo, Norway. While his racing triumphs are numerous, it was a race in 1951 at Sun Valley he didn’t win that will forever underscore his legacy. While at the start gate, the University of Utah Ski Team sophomore felt a waist band button on his ski togs give way. Unable to delay the start, he took off, and when he reached the finish line his red long johns were totally exposed. Undaunted, Robison finished seventh -- and won the slalom the next day to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team.
A protégé and close friend of Jack “Red Dog” Reddish, Darrell was anointed “Pink Dog” to showcase his place among the elite skiers of the era. For Darrell Robison, “Pinky” or red - just color him a winner.