At the 2016 American Ski Hall of Fame induction. L-R Corky Dennison, Ron Jacobson, Jerry Martin, DZ, Don Jacobson, Tim Dennison, Bill Polanka, Bruce Jennings and Greg Windsperger
DANA “ZEKE” ZELENAKAS
This past summer I had the distinct honor and pleasure to travel to Red Wing, MN to be inducted into the Ski Jumping Hall of Fame along with several others including Bernie Dion, Nita Englund, Ron (Nipper) Jacobson, Bruce Jennings, Lenny Johnson, Doug Maki, Will Rhoads, Nils Stolzlechner, Blair Tomten, & Jon Denney. It was truly an honor that I never expected and one for which I am very humbled. Not only was the induction very special but the reunion with several of my coaches, team members and friends made the trip one to never forget. I was a Eastern transplant, moving to and living in Minneapolis for six years in the mid 70’s, so returning to Minnesota was especially exciting for me. Although the ski jumping community is a very small family, its heart is big and sound. I’ve made a lot of friends throughout my life and those made through ski jumping as Eldridge French said, “are friends for life.” It had been over 35 years since I skied and socialized with this group and the reunion was like it had only been overnight. When I arrived I was greeted like I had never left. As we reminisced, old stories came out from everyone and we had more laughs that made the weekend extra special. As I read the stories that are shared on this post it is very obvious to me that ski jumping has had a enormous impact, in more ways than one, on those connected to the sport. To view more about ski jumping’s roots in the US and the hall of fame visit http://www.americanskijumping.
Story Project 2016