Jack Benedick

Article excerpt


On April 9, 2010, Jack Benedick was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and presented with its highest honor, the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Medal of Honor. This recognition capped over three decades of dedication to promoting adaptive ski racing in the USA. One of Benedick's mottos: "Fourth is not good enough," was the standard by which he lived and inspired and required others to follow. Benedick, more than any other individual, was responsible for the high level of accomplishment our adaptive ski racers have achieved for the United States throughout the 80s, 90s, and this past decade.

Benedick served as a Lieutenant and then Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry. While serving with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam, his life was changed forever when a land mine blew both of his legs off below the knees. While serving in combat, Benedick was twice awarded the Silver Star for heroism and two Purple Hearts for wounds incurred in combat. Even after both legs were taken, "Captain Jack" continued to serve on active duty for 10 more years, earning the admiration of his troops. At the time he was the only double leg amputee serving in the Army.

In the late seventies, Benedick, now retired, turned his energies to ski racing which he had experienced while a patient at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver Colorado. He Made the U.S. Disabled Ski Team (now U.S.A. Adaptive Ski Team) in 1979 and earned a silver medal in Combined in the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. …