Doug Pringle, a highly decorated veteran, learned to three-track ski in the late 1960s after losing a leg in Vietnam. From one man’s simple enthusiasm for the sport of skiing developed a new direction for disabled athletics.
Pringle, a three-time national slalom champion, united four adaptive ski teaching programs in 1972 into an organization that is now known as Disabled Sports USA. Just four years after establishing the organization, he already had helped launch 20 new chapters. Pringle, who competed in seven National Ski Championships, also originated the Winterfest program, today known as the Ski Spectacular. One of the first three-track skiers to become fully certified as an alpine ski instructor, Pringle initiated a training and certification program that was adopted by Professional Ski Instructors of America. More than 1,200 instructors have since been certified in adaptive teaching.
Pringle continues to be active in adaptive recreation. He transformed Disabled Sports USA’s Northern California chapter into a year-round professional organization and lead a capital campaign that build a ski school building at Alpine Meadows. In 1997, he entered his fourth year as president of the board of directors of Disabled Sports USA.