John Bower, a former Olympian, ski coach and director of the Utah Olympic Park, died Tuesday in Park City at the age of 76, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association says.
Bower twice competed in the Olympic Games, finishing 15th in the nordic combined in 1964 at Innsbruck, Austria, and 13th in Grenoble, France, in 1968. His other accomplishments include an NCAA nordic combined title in 1961 and four U.S. ski titles. In 1968, he became the first American to win the nordic combined King's Cup.
Later, Bower became a coach and the nordic director for the U.S. Ski Team.
"John Bower is a great example of a highly accomplished skier who dedicated his entire life to helping other athletes," U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a news release.
Bower served as the first director of what is now called the Utah Olympic Park, where he oversaw development of venues and programs for nearly a decade leading up to the 2002 Olympics.
"John was uniquely qualified and extremely effective in being the first to lead the team running the Utah Winter Sports Park," Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation President and CEO Colin Hilton said in a news release. "He had a passion to see that athletes could train and develop at the newly created Sports Park. That passion and committed effort planted the seeds that helped shape the successful Olympic legacy we enjoy today."