Leif Odmark

Induction Year: 
Ski Sport Innovator
Leif Odmark (1820-2004)
Leif Odmark, known as “Mr. Sun Valley”, was born in Sweden in 1920 and a Swedish National Ski Team Member in Cross-country Skiing/Ski Jumping. In 1948, he moved to Sun Valley, Idaho where he lived for 56 years. His passion for Crosscountry Skiing and life-long efforts to share it reserve his place in the sport’s history. He coached the US Olympic Team in Cross-country/Nordic Combined in the 1952 Norway Olympic Games and in 1970 founded the Sun Valley Nordic Ski School/ Touring Center, the first such full-time Center in the US. He was President of the Ski Touring Instructors Examination Board and Founding Member/President of the Northern Intermountain Ski Instructors Association. A prolific author, Odmark wrote 3 books on Cross-country Skiing plus “Sun Valley Memories by the Legendary Leif Odmark” filled with stories/photos of Sun Valley, which was the “Meeting Place of the Ski World” by Hollywood stars/others at that time.
A positive and dynamic force in his sport, he sponsored and staged free Crosscountry Skiing clinics/races for the handicapped, Seniors, and children. Odmark, inducted into the Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame and Northwest Ski Hall of Fame, was also a world-class Marathon runner, semi-pro Soccer and Ice Hockey Player, and won Masters Class Gold Medals in Alpine/Nordic Skiing. Leif, a true Renaissance man, was a Father, Entrepreneur, Pioneer/Visionary, Philanthropist, Coach, Author, Inventor, World-class Athlete, and charming, European Gentleman