In the beginning of January, ski racers from around New York State have looked forward to the Annual Hovey Memorial Race held in Whiteface (formerly at Mt. Whitney in the 1960’s). This race not only brings the state together to kick off the season but shows the supportive environment within the ski racing community – joining to show a love for skiing, spark the competitiveness in youngsters and cheer on athletes. This love for the outdoors and excitement to come together to enjoy an activity we all love stems from the Hovey Family, primarily Bill Hovey. Bill was a community leader in winter and summer sports. He taught alpine skiing to families all over the country and switched to his Water Ski School on Lake Placid in the summer. His children Tracey, Chris and Bill share this passion for the outdoors and have represented his legacy by awarding medals to the top athletes during the annual Hovey race in a charismatic award celebration. Numerous participants – U10,U12 and U14 (formerly known as JV, JIV, JIII), yearn for a spot on the podium during the award celebration but the top U14’s have the honor to get their name engraved on the Hovey Plaque, prominently displayed at the NYSEF Training Center at Whiteface (formerly in the Base Lodge).
“When I was a kid the Hovey memorial was often compared to the Hahnenkamm, illustrating the importance of the race and creating pressure given its significance. Looking back on my career, the Hovey was the first real stepping stone of performing in big races and I hope our next generation can feel the same emotion and gravity within their own careers.” – Tommy Biesemeyer, NYSEF alum and Olympian
In its 58th year, we ask snowsports organizations and clubs to join NYSEF to celebrate their love of snowsports and most importantly, the spirit of the Hovey Family by putting together a local race event, training with your club or simply, enjoying the outdoors. Although we cannot celebrate in a traditional race setting together, please keep this tradition alive and share your experience with NYSEF and the Hovey Family! If you are a former ski racer and competed in the annual Memorial Hovey race, please share your stories with us!
“The Hovey Memorial represents everything youth ski racing should be about – tradition, community, competition and most importantly, fun. As a mainstay in the yearly schedule, the Hovey brings the youth ski racing community together and connects today’s athletes with the storied history of skiing in Lake Placid.” – Andrew Weibrecht, NYSEF alum and Olympic Medalist
What better way to celebrate the spirit of the Hovey than to hear stories from former competitors, alums and Hovey family members! “Even now when I put a toe to a start line or go for a ski, I feel an immense sense of gratitude for being part of a skiing lineage and for all the family, friends, coaches and teachers who made it happen. When people ask how I got into skiing, I say that I was in the right place at the right time with the right people – which includes Bill Hovey who got my family, and countless others out on skis at a young age – teaching them a lifelong love and skill. Now, I only hope to pass it on to my own family, Oscar and to my communities.”-Haley Hovey Johnson Stewart, Bill’s granddaughter and U14/JIII winner . An avid ski racer in both alpine and nordic, Haley Competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in biathlon!
Tag @NYSEFSnowsports @NYSSRA and/or email your story/ways you are keeping the tradition alive to firstname.lastname@example.org.