Hall of Famer
Ron Richards Sr.
Ron Richard’s has left an exceptional and lasting legacy to the sport in Canada for his contribution to skiing in general and ski jumping in particular. He first became involved in the sport in 1963 as a competitor winning the Southern Ontario Ski Jumping Championships 8-times between 1963 and 1972. In the same period, he was the Province of Ontario Champion on 5-occasions and the North American Senior ‘B’ Champion twice in the same time period.
In 1970, he became Chairman of the Canadian Ski Association’s (CSA) Ski Jumping Committee, a position he held until 1976. He was appointed Manager of Ski Jumping Team representing Canada at both the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, Sapporo, Japan and the 1976 Winter Olympic Games held at Innsbruck, Austria. As Manager of the Canadian Junior World Team, he saw team member Horst Bulau soar into international prominence by winning the Gold Medal at the World Junior Ski Jumping Championships at the Quebec City jump in 1979. The success of Canada’s program was confirmed again in 1980 when Steve Collins repeated Horst Bulau’s success. Also prominent were ski jumpers Zdenek Mezl and his son, Ron Richards Jr. who, like Bulau and Collins, also emerged from Ron Richard’s very successful Ontario Team program which originated in 1978.
From 1976 onwards, he continued to serve on the national Ski Jumping Committee as Chairman of the Finance Committee for two years (the national team’s budget increasing from $7,000 in 1977 to $500,000 in 1983), and as Officials’ Chairman for three years. He also served on the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) Judges and Technical Delegates Committee (3-years) and Ski Jumping’s Management Committee (1-year).
In 1980, he was appointed a Ski Jumping Judge by the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) and an FIS Technical Delegate in 1985 officiating at World Championships in Sweden, Italy, Norway and Czechoslovakia. At the same time, 1980 to 1985, he served as Chairman, Southern Ontario Division of the CSA’s Jumping Committee. At the Calgary Winter Olympic Games in 1988 he was appointed Chief of Distance Measurers.
Arguably his most significant achievements were the creation and development of a National Winter Training Centre for the so-called “have not” winter sports and the building of the outstanding world-class ski jumping complex in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He was also involved in the construction of ski jumping facilities at Mont Ste Anne, Quebec and at other locations in Canada.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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