Eric Keck, a member of the legendary troupe of American Downhillers from the 80s and 90s, died suddenly at the age of 52 on Wednesday, July 9.
Keck attended Burke Mountain Academy and Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont prior to joining the U.S. Ski Team, where he competed on the World Cup for three years alongside teammates AJ Kitt and Tommy Moe.
“He made everyone feel like he was their best friend on our team,” said Kitt. “As far as he skiing, he wasn’t intimidated by anything. Downhiller by nature but a slalom skier at heart, quick feet, amazing touch. All of the guys, we’re devastated by this.”
Keck’s World Cup career was short-lived, he chose to attend college in 1991. And although Keck rarely squeaked into the top 30, he will forever be known as the “biggest” downhiller in the history of World Cup ski racing, weighing in at 245 pounds during his career.
When Keck made the decision to go to college, he took his size, speed, and agility from the mountain to the field, where he took up football for the first time in his life. Keck spent two years playing at Saddleback Junior College in California prior to transferring to Columbia University. As an Ivy Leaguer, Keck competed as a defensive tackle and co-captain for the Lions.
Keck eventually went on to become a school principal for the Southwick School in Northfield, New Hampshire.
He is survived by his wife, Beth, his three daughters, Phoebe, Zion, and Zachri, and his son Thunder, and his two grandchildren.
Stay tuned for a full-length feature on the life and legacy of Eric Keck.