Recently, two University of Maine Farmington alumnae were inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in front of a packed house at Sugarloaf Resort. Among a distinguished group of eight, UMF's Leigh Breidenbach '83 and Lindsay Ball '14 were honored for their many achievements and contributions to the diverse world of ski and snowsports.
"UMF is proud to have two alumnae among the distinguished honorees inducted into this year's Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Their value to the snow sports world is remarkable, and their contribution to our University has served so many. They both continue to inspire and support the industry in countless ways. We are so fortunate to have them among our family," said Scott Hoisington, coordinator of UMF Alpine operations.
Leigh Breidenbach started her career at Sunday River where she crossed paths with Tom Reynolds working with the UMF ski team. In 1980, she enrolled at Farmington in secondary education and the UMF ski industries program conceived by Tom Reynolds and Doc DesRoches. In 1990, Breidenbach filled in after DesRoches' retirement and became a key part of the program, working with Reynolds until she eventually, she became the director of the program. UMF students, mentored by Leigh, assumed ski-related positions regionally, nationally and sometimes beyond. There were numerous other touchpoints and highlights where Leigh make a positive impact on the industry in the local and larger communities that extended beyond her retirement from UMF.
"It was an honor to stand before the essence of the Maine skiing and snowboard communities and have the opportunity to thank the numerous people who have shared their dedication and talent with me," said Breidenbach.
Lindsay Ball, who is visually impaired, graduated from UMF in 2014 after competing in the 2012 World Cup at Winter Park in Colorado where she finished 1st in the Giant Slalom and Down Hill in the US Championships. She finished second in a Nor-Am Super G at Copper Mountain and took first place in the GS, which earned her a place on the US Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team. While at UMF, she was embraced as a member of the ski program and able to continue to participate in regional adaptive ski events. In 2014, Ball achieved the dream of skiing in the Winter Olympics and capped her career at the Sochi Games after competing in the Paralympics Giant Slalom. Lindsay has returned to college and is earning a degree in adaptive physical education at SUNY Brockport. She is excited about creating opportunities for others with physical challenges to have access to sport, fitness, and recreation.
"It was such an honor to be inducted alongside all of the other Ski role models in Maine. The event allowed me to remember the journey of my success and that everything started at Sugarloaf in the King Pine room where the ceremony was" said Ball.
Also inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame that evening were Seth Wescott, Don Fowler, Paul Schipper, Billy Chenard, and Bob Zinck.