BRATTLEBORO — Putney Nordic skiers John Caldwell and Martha Rockwell will be inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame on April 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Burlington in South Burlington. Ticket information will be available soon on www.vermontsportshall.com.
Caldwell is known as the grandfather of Nordic skiing in the United States. He represented his country in the 1952 Olympics as a cross-country skier and combined (ski & jump) Nordic competitor. After retiring from competition, Caldwell returned to his alma mater, The Putney School, as a teacher and coach. He joined the national program as the Olympic Nordic coach for the 1968, 1972, 1980 and 1984 games. He helped develop many of the U.S.'s finest Nordic competitors, including silver medalist Bill Koch, Mike Gallagher, Martha Rockwell, Mary Heller, Larry Damon, Ned Gillette, Jim Galanes, and his son, Tim Caldwell. In addition, Caldwell is the author of "The Cross-Country Ski Book," internationally known as the bible of cross-country skiing.
Rockwell was a pioneer in the United States in women's cross-country skiing. She was a member of the first USA women's Nordic ski team to compete at the Olympics in 1972, and made a second trip in 1976. Between 1969 and 1975 Rockwell won several national distance titles, capturing 18 of 19 possible U.S. championships over that period. Twice she was voted the USA's top Nordic competitor. She raced in the first three events offered to women, the 5K, 10K and Nordic relay, at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. She also competed at the 1976 Olympic Games. After retirement from competition, she was the women's Nordic coach at Dartmouth for many years. Twice the winner of Ski Magazine's U.S. Nordic Skier of the Year (1975-76), she was inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Vermont Ski Museum Hall of Fame in 2005.
Also being inducted will be: Olympic skiers Betsy Snite Riley of Norwich and Lindy Cochran Kelley of Richmond; coaches Missy Foote of Middlebury College, Ed Markey of St. Michael's College and Bernie Cieplicki Sr. of Burlington; Olympic equestrian gold medalist Tad Coffin of Stratford; sportswriter Don Fillion of Shelburne; boxer Tony Robitaille of Newport; hockey and soccer standout Guy Gaudreau of Beebe Plain; mountain climbing pioneer Helmut Lenes of Shelburne; and legendary distance runner Clarence DeMar of South Hero.
Inductees were selected from a field of nominees by a voting committee consisting of previous inductees, members of the VSHOF board of directors, and advisors from all corners of Vermont. This year's class will bring membership in the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame to 61.
Previous VSHOF classes included Brattleboro's Fred Harris, Ernie Johnson and Bill Koch.