Ski Racing Legend George Macomber Passes Away

2015-12-15 15:56

American ski racing lost a giant Monday, when George Macomber passed away at age 88 in his sleep. George Macomber, a national champion in downhill and combined, whose surname is synonymous with ski racing in New England, died December 13, 2015 at age 88.

Raised in Massachusetts, Macomber raced for MIT, and was rarely off the podium. A slalom specialist, he nonetheless won the U.S. national downhill and combined championships in 1949. He was named to the U.S. Ski Team for the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, and for the 1950 World Championships at Aspen.

Macomber teamed up with Brooks Dodge, Malcolm McLean and Mack Beal to build Wildcat Mountain in New Hampshire in the 1950s. He was an early member and president of the U.S. Eastern Alpine Ski Association and held membership number 100015. He was also instrumental in constructing ski hills and installing snowmaking at Eaglebrook School, the Dartmouth Skiway and Mittersill. He served as a member of the U.S. Ski Team Foundation and won several national Masters racing championships.

Macomber learned the basics on hills near Newton, MA, before he began racing at the Eaglebrook School in Greenfield, MA. After World War II, Macomber spent a winter at Alta working for Alf Engen, and then two seasons at Sun Valley. He also received some instruction from Dartmouth coach Walter Prager.

He graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering and served as president and CEO of George BH Macomber Builders and Macomber Development Associates. The firm built the New England Aquarium’s IMAX theatre and renovated Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

George and his wife Andy contributed $1 million to establish the Macomber Family Endowed Scholar for Cardiovascular Performance Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital. The hospital’s cardiovascular performance program is the first nationally to explore cardiac care for competitive athletes.

He is survived by his wife, Andy, a former USSA official, daughter Grace Bird and sons John and Jory—USSA’s current VP, Athlete Career and Education and incoming Burke Mountain Academy head of school. All three children served as Dartmouth Ski Team captains, a legacy currently being carried out by one his eight grandchildren.

Reporting details courtesy of Ski Racing.