Ken Alligood

Originally from Georgia, Ken began skiing in junior high school in Anchorage, Alaska after his father’s military career assignment brought the family to Ft. Richardson. He attended East Anchorage High School and was the Alaska State High School Champion four years consecutively from 1963 to 1966. Ken was also a member of the Alaska Junior National team during that period.

After attending Fort Lewis College, Colorado he joined the army and was assigned to the US WBTC where he was a member of the 1971 CISM team. It was after his military service that Ken established his impressive competitive record. He left the army in 1971 but continued to train and as a civilian he was a nine time medalist in the U.S. National Championships and a member of the 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1979 World Championships teams.

Following the 1976 season, Ken took a break and entered the coaching ranks, becoming the U.S. Team coach at the 1977 World Championships, the final one held using large caliber rifles. Ken returned to racing during the 1978 season and achieved the top American finish at the 1979 World Championships. Serving two periods as the U.S. team’s coach, he returned to coach the Junior team at the World Junior Championships in 1980 and the Senior men for the 1981 and 1982 seasons despite having the requirement to raise his own salary due to the financial difficulties of the U.S. Biathlon Association at the time. Ken was also the coach for the 1984 Olympic Games.

Ken’s contributions did not end at being a successful competitor and coach, he was also an innovator. During a training camp Ken saw an effective way to improve the speed of getting in and out of the rifle arm sling by dividing it into two parts, with a separated arm band which stayed on the upper arm during skiing and was connected to the rifle sling by a hook when in the shooting position. Manufacturing his own and then for teammates on a borrowed sewing machine his design was later universally copied when the American team brought it to international competition.

Very colorful, Ken often entertained other team members with his insight, wit, and humor. A classic car enthusiast, Ken remained in Alaska, became a pilot, and established his own flying service. For his many contributions to biathlon Ken is welcomed as a member of the U.S. Biathlon Association’s Hall of Fame.