Rod Hernley’s inspiring combination of competition and leadership in disabled skiing make him a champion on and off the slopes. With over 20 years of involvement with organizations for people with disabilities, Hernley has played an integral role in the Olympic movement and the integration of the US Disabled Ski Team into US Skiing.
Hernley won more than 20 gold and silver medals in national competition from 1976 through 1986, including a bronze medal in slalom at the Third World Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria in 1984. Hernley also competed in the World Winter Championships for the Disabled at Salen, Sweden in 1986.
Hernley’s extensive organizational positions include past president of National Handicapped Sports and past president of the Rocky Mountain Handicapped Sportsmen’s Association. Hernley also served as a chairman of the Committee on Sports for the Disabled for the United States Olympic Committee. Hernley was a founding board member of Handicapped Media, Inc., a Colorado non-profit organization publishing numerous periodicals relating to the disabled.
In 1990, Hernley received the Jim Winthers Memorial Award for service in disabled winter sports. The Colorado Coalition for Persons with Disabilities named him Advocate of the year in 1994. He was awarded the Distinguished State Service Award, an honor granted one state employee in the eight-state federal region for community activity and involvement in public service organization.