Bob Beattie – Founder of U.S. Ski Team Dies at 85

Bob Beattie – Founder of U.S. Ski Team Dies at 85 

Bob Beattie, 85, the founding coach of the U.S. Ski Team and one of the originators of the Alpine Ski World Cup, died April 1, 2018 with his family in Fruita, Colorado. Beattie was a commentator for ABC Sports and ESPN, working at ABC during four Olympic Winter Games.

In 1961, the National Ski Association named Beattie as its first national team coach. He was also instrumental in promoting and fundraising for a national ski team and he partnered with the U.S. ski industry to raise money and garner support from American corporations for the national team.

In 1966, Beattie partnered with two others to grow the first Alpine Ski World Cup. After leaving coaching, Beattie started World Wide Ski Corp. and created the World Pro Ski Tour in 1970. The tour continued until 1982. He also promoted the NASTAR recreational racing program and he made his debut as a television commentator in 1969 under Roone Arldege at ABC. He covered the 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics and was a frequent host of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and ESPN’s Bob Beattie’s Ski World.

He is also one of the most decorated officials in skiing, being honored with the Julius Blegen Award in 196r, the highest honor for forming the U.S. Ski Team. He received the AT&T Skiing Award in 1983 for his lifetime contributions to the sport and he was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1986.

After retiring from broadcasting, the U.S. Ski Team created the Bob Beattie Athlete Travel fund to help national team athletes. In 1986, Beattie negotiated with the Aspen Skiing Co. to provide affordable skiing for children. The ASK program (Aspen Supports Kids), now known as Base Camp, serves 1,800 children with affordable access to skiing.