Alf Engen Ski Museum: Interesting Facts

Utah Olympic ParkThe Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center and Alf Engen Ski Museum were funded entirely with private donations. Total cost of the building: $10.5M. Major contributions were given by the Quinney and Eccles families.

The Quinney Center was desgined by Edwards & Daniels Architects (EDA) and constructed by Jacobson Construction Co. The exhibits in the Alf Engen Ski Museum were crafted by Academy Studios of San Francisco.

The Alf Engen Ski Museum is the only regional ski museum in the United States to be named for an individual. All others are named for regional locations. (Sun Valley Museum, Colorado Ski Museum, etc.)

To date, over 8,100 students have participated in the museum’s field-trip program since its inception in 2002. Grant monies have enabled us to pay all field-trip costs, thus giving many students their first time ever mountain experience.

The “Peak Conditions” display explaining the weather conditions that create Utah’s renown powder snow, was donated by KSL television. Len Randolph, KSL meteorologist who narrates the video, was most supportive of our efforts and was instrumental in producing the informational presentation and encouraging KSL to donate the display.

Alf Engen passed away in July, 1997, at the age of 88. He taught skiing at Alta until 1989, retiring at the age of 80.

In 1999, the Salt Lake Tribune named Alf the “Athlete of the 21st Century.”

Alf’s trophies tell many unique stories:

  • The spoons and other utensils are prizes won by Alf in Norway for competitions in skiing, soccer, and singing.
  • The watch was won by Alf in a 1930s jumping tournament. He replaced the band with a woman’s watchband and presented it to his wife-to-be, Evelyn Pack, as an engagement gift.
  • The baton was presented to Alf by Maurice Abravanel, conductor of the Utah Symphony, as a tribute to his leadership in the community.
  • The 1936 Wheaties (“Breakfast of Champions”) cereal box featured Alf as one of its champions. Inclusion on this box cost Alf his place on the 1936 Olympic team because he was declared a professional. As Alf loved to say, “I never got paid, but I got lots of Wheaties. All of Salt Lake City got Wheaties.”

Click HERE for more interesting facts.

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2 Responses to Alf Engen Ski Museum: Interesting Facts

  1. Pingback: Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center « The Utah Olympic Park Blog

  2. Pingback: Ski legend Sigi Engl honored « The Utah Olympic Park Blog

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