Tom Corcoran (November 16, 1931 – June 27, 2017)) represented the United States ski team in the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina. Corcoran went on to serve as an officer in the Navy and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1960, Corcoran placed 4th in the Giant Slalom at Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, UT.
Tom Corcoran went to Dartmouth College, graduating in 1953. He was a member of the 1958 World Championship team, in addition to his Olympic appearances in 1956 and 1960. Corcoran won four US championships, and skied for seven years on the international circuit. At Squaw Valley in 1960, his fourth place finish in the giant slalom was the best to that date by an American man in alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics. After his ski career ended, Corcoran developed the Waterville Valley Ski Resort in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, opening the resort in 1966. Corcoran was inducted into the US Ski Hall of Fame.
"When we flew over Waterville Valley, all the bells went off in my mind. It was exactly what I was looking for. From the air, it was obvious how it should be laid out and I could see its potential for great skiing."
-Tom Corcoran, Waterville Valley Resort Founder
Waterville Valley Resort opened in December of 1966 and has been an advocate for the sport of ski racing from its earliest years. By the next ski season a junior racing program had begun and with the creation of the first amateur ski racing program by Tom Corcoran and John Fry, Waterville Valley hosted the world’s first NASTAR race.
While developing Waterville Valley Resort, Tom Corcoran's passion for skiing remained at the forefront and he continued to do a considerable amount of masters racing, winning many regional races and three out of four events in the U.S. National Masters Championships in 1968. This passion that built a world-class mountain and resort, also shaped the sport itself. In 1969, Waterville Valley Resort became known as the birthplace of freestyle skiing after creating the first freestyle skiing program and hosting the World Cup Finals where the sport was introduced to the world. The next year, Tom Corcoran and Skiing Magazine editor, Doug Pfiffer, organized the First National Championships of Freestyle Skiing at Waterville Valley Resort in 1970. At the age of 21, Legendary Freestyle Skier Wayne Wong travelled from Vancouver on $200 of sponsorship money to the World Cup Freestyle Finals on Waterville Valley’s True Grit. Wong became Waterville Valley’s head freestyle coach in 1973.
In 1971, U.S. Olympic Alpine and Nordic Ski Teams trained in Waterville Valley for the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. The valley’s original ski trail on Snow’s Mountain played host to dual giant slalom team races at night. In the same year, WVBBTS ski club quarters were constructed. Today, the Town of Waterville Valley remains home to the Waterville Valley Academy and WVBBTS. It is one of the leading training and competition centers in the United States, a Certified Gold Level Club, the first in the East to be named a Community Olympic Development Program, and in 2017 Waterville Valley Resort was designated a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Development Site.
Over the course of its history, Waterville Valley Resort hosted 10 World Cup Races. Decades later Olympians continued to develop on the slopes of Mt. Tecumseh, including Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney, who trained through the WVBBTS program under head freestyle coach, Nick Preston. The legacy of world-class ski racing continues to this day as the National Freestyle Championships Mogul Event returns to Waterville Valley in March of 2018.