Richard Mize

Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Richard "Dick" Mize began his long athletic career racing in the Eagle County, Colorado Grade School track and field championships in 1948. After graduation from Red Cliff high school he attended Western State College and was a member of the ski team from 1953 to 1957. It was as a member of the ski team that he participated in the 1st NCAA Ski Championships in 1954 and that he began a biathlon career that included many firsts.

After finishing 4th, 2nd, and 3rd in the NCAA Championships, Dick along with his teammates from Western State College participated in the very first biathlon race held in the United States at Camp Hale, Colorado. Serving in the U.S. Army in 1958 he was among the first soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army’s Modern Winter Biathlon Training Center and qualified to participate in the 1st World Biathlon Championships in Saalfelden, Austria in 1958. In 1959 he participated in the 2nd World Biathlon Championships at Courmayeur, Italy. In 1959 he also participated in the 1st North American Biathlon Championships, a Pre-Olympic test event, and finished 2nd, ahead of the future Olympic Gold medalist from Sweden.

During the team trials near Camp Hale at the Tennessee Pass location of over 10,000 feet elevation, Dick qualified for the 1960 Winter Olympic team for biathlon and finished 21st in the first Winter Olympic biathlon race at Squaw Valley. Making his home in Alaska following military service Dick retired in 1983 as an administrator in Anchorage school district but remained closely involved with the ski community. Not giving up his competitive nature he continued to race in local ski and running races and was the winner of 6 World Masters Championships and 24 U.S. Masters Championships in several age groups between 1983 and 2010.

A familiar face among Alaskan skiers, Dick never stopped serving the community of Anchorage. One of his important contributions included working with the Kincaid Project Group to upgrade the Kincaid Park area by adding a state of the art biathlon range, a snow making system, and 8 soccer fields. For his life-long commitment to skiing and as a biathlon pioneer, Dick is welcomed as a member of the Hall of Fame. 

Richard Mize - USBA Hall of Fame