Lars Kindem

Minneapolis North and Roosevelt

Year Inducted 2004

Lars Kindem was the ski coach at North High School, where he coached a  ski team that won the City high school championship his first year and every year  thereafter for the next nine years.  When he left North to transfer to Roosevelt, his North High teams had established a dual meet record of 69 - 0.

 

Minneapolis  Jr. Ski Club members, Clyde Brodt, Jim Bajari, and Mike Hartig, skied on the team that won the Minnesota  State Championship in 1960.  North won the Cross-Country team titles in 1964 and 1965, also with Minneapolis Jr. Ski Club members.

 

In 1971, he started the first high school girls' ski team in the State of Minnesota at Roosevelt High.  There were 75 girls' teams in five years.  Lars  testified as an expert witness in Miles Lord's Federal Court in support of Jr. club member Toni St. Pierre's lawsuit to have the right to ski competitively for the Hopkins High School Ski Team..

 

Lars submitted a bid at the USSA Convention for the  Mpls. Ski Club and North Star Ski Touring Club to host the 1973 Nordic Nationals after Norm Oakvik and Bob Gray laid out a trail system at Bush Lake and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve.  As race time approached, there was no snow.  Lars appeared on  The Boone & Erickson WCCO radio show to plead for area residents to assist in hauling snow to cover the trail system.  It worked.  At those nationals  he also provided for the first doping tests done in skiing events  in  America.  For his role as Chief of Race, Lars received the USSA's highest award for race organization in the United States that year.

 

He organized the first night ski race. The U.S. and Canada raced at Wirth Park with light provided by 87 Coleman Lanterns on bamboo poles held in place by people.

 

Lars became an F.I.S. Technical Delegate in 1973, the same year that he served as TD for the American Birkebeiner, a job he performed another seven times.  He was TD for the Jr. Nordic Nationals at Steamboat, the Sr. Nationals at Anchorage, the 1976 Olympic Tryouts at Telemark, and America's first World Cup at Telemark.  He was Starter at the World Cup Nordic Combined at Giant's Ridge, also Chief of Timekeeping for the 1988 Olympic Tryouts at Giant's Ridge, the Biathlon Nationals and World Championships at Lake Placid.

 

In 1976, he organized  the "Ski For Light" international race for blind skiers, with the the Minnesota Vikings Front Four "Purple People Eaters" also participating as guides for blind skiers. 

 

Lars was one of five that assisted in planning the facilities for nordic events at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.  He designed the scoreboard and timing building for the Cross-Country stadium.  He traveled to Lahti, Finland, with a study group to prepare for the Olympic  Games where he served as Chief of Stadium and Chief of Timekeeping.

 

   He held positions on USSA committees such as Cross-Country,  Nordic competition, and eventually became USSA Vice President for Nordic skiing.  At the same time, he was President of the Central Division.  Later he was elected to the Board of Directors of the USSA and the U.S. Ski Team; a Trustee of the U.S. Ski Educational Foundation,  and member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Games Committee.

Organizing fair races and providing accurate timekeeping were his first priority.

 

Mark Lahtinen

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