1972 US Biathlon Olympic Team

At the 1972 Winter Olympic Games in Sapporo, Japan the U.S. Biathlon team achieved a benchmark result in the relay race that has remained unsurpassed for 50 years. That extraordinary team included athletes, Jay Bowerman, Dennis Donahue, Dexter Morse and Peter Karns. Hall of Fame members Peter Lahdenpera, John Morton were also members of the team. They were coached by Lloyd Crow and Jim Shea, and team leader William (Bill) Spencer, also a Hall of Fame member. The team’s best ever sixth place finish in the relay race was also accompanied by the 14th place by Peter Karns in the individual race, equaling the best ever Olympic result at the time.


A remarkable group of talented individuals, both coaches and athletes, they have collectively achieved nine individual U.S. National Biathlon Championships, were participants in multiple CISM Games, World Biathlon Championships and Winter Olympic Games, and a four-time gold medalist at the World Shooting Championships. Two had qualified for the Winter Olympic Games in two disciplines, four were colligate skiers at Middlebury College while two others skied for the University of Utah. All were members of the U.S. Army Modern Winter Biathlon Training Center in Alaska while serving in the U.S. Army, two returning from assignment

in Vietnam. Beyond their Olympic benchmark performances, the athletes and coaches continued to contribute to the success and improvement of biathlon and skiing as coaches, leaders and administrators following their competitive years. Their achievements at Sapporo are still remembered, valued and continually viewed as the standard for success.

In recognition for the outstanding efforts of this team for achieving an extraordinary relay performance and for the additional collective contributions of the members of the team, it is recognized and welcomed into the U.S. Biathlon Hall of Fame.