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Bob Beattie

post #1 of 10
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Meyer: Pioneer Bob Beattie set the stage for U.S. ski racers


Beattie originated the concept of the U.S. Ski Team in the 1960s. He coached Billy Kidd and Jimmie Heuga to the first Olympic alpine medals for U.S. men in 1964. He co-founded the World Cup tour in 1966. He covered four Winter Olympics for ABC and called the most famous ski race of all, Franz Klammer's death-defying gold medal run in the downhill at the 1976 Innsbruck Games.  -- From The Denver Post 04/03/12


I know a little about him, but I'm curious to know more about Bob Beattie. Anyone have any stories/memories to share?

post #2 of 10

Just remember that he was the color commentator for just about every televised ski racing event I watched as a kid.


Always liked himicon14.gif

post #3 of 10

Well I am pretty sure he was instrumental in starting the Professional Ski Racing Tour, as well as NASTAR.



post #4 of 10

Bob Beattie coached the U of CO ski team in the 1950s.  He was head coach of the US Ski Team at the 1964 Winter Olympics.  Then he helped establish the World Cup ski circuit, World Pro Skiing, NASTAR, and served as a well known commentator on snow sports for ABC's Wide World of Sports.  He was a big part of the world wide surge in the popularity of skiing that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Aside from all that, I really enjoyed the TV show he hosted on ESPN about 20 years ago called Bob Beattie's Ski World.  IIRC, these were a folksy and engaging mix of travelogue, ski lessons, and ski news.  Each segment would be taped from a different, famous resort and they really put the wanderlust in me to check-out many of the great ski areas of the world.

post #5 of 10

Nice guy.  Pretty much ran the Pro tour and Nastar.


One of my bud's was the top DH skier in the US team in the early 60's and some say the inspiration for Down Hill Racer.  He crashed and burned on the Hahnenkamm and missed the 64 Olympics.

Billy went on to Silver and stardom and Jerry's a plumber in Aspen?  It's interesting to hear Bob and him talk after a couple of drinks!

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Coach Bob Beattie remembers Spider Sabich




post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

This is nearly the entire Franz Klammer Gold Medal Run from the Innsbruck Winter Olympics of 1976.

It includes the original US broadcast commentary from ABC by Frank Gifford and Bob Beattie.


post #8 of 10



No ski resort too small to visit to promote the ski team. Of course it helps when Laurel's recent manager just became co-chair of the ski team fundraising committee. 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

In more than two months of European training for the IX Winter Olympics, and through the frail snow flurries that settled on the hills around Innsbruck during the final hours of the games, it was never very difficult to find the U.S. men's Alpine ski team. One had only to ask where the nearest crisis was, and there, usually causing it, were the Americans.

The major crisis was self-imposed. From the beginning, Coach Bob Beattie established the principle that the most important medal in the Winter Olympics was a gold, silver or bronze—any color would be fine—in a men's Alpine event. Never had a U.S. racer placed as high as third before. It was with a complete dedication to this goal that Beattie's Americans set out.
"Nothing," said Beattie to a friend, perhaps trying to bolster his own confidence, "comes out of pressure but greatness. That's what we've told these kids all along, and that's what we believe. What the hell. A young racer ought to try to win, or fall down the mountain anyhow."
Link to full article from Sports Illustrated, February 17, 1964
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