Spider Sabich Racing on His K2 Skis Vintage Poster
Although Spider’s birth name was Vladimir Peter Sabich, Jr. he was known all of his short life as Spider, (October 1, 1945 – March 21, 1976). He was a popular and well know American alpine ski racer. As a member of the U.S. Ski Team in the late 1960s, Sabich skied on the World Cup circuit for its first four seasons.
At age 22, Spider competed at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics and finished fifth in the slalom in the thick fog. His sole World Cup victory came two months later in April, a slalom at Heavenly Valley at South Lake Tahoe, just east of his hometown of Kyburz. He finished 8th in the slalom standings for the 1968 season and was the U.S. downhill champion.
Sabich reached the World Cup podium (top three) three more times in the slalom in 1969. He finished seventh in the 1969 season standings for the slalom & 11th overall, but fell out of the top ten in the slalom the following year. In total Sabich had 18 top ten finishes in Olympic and World Cup competition: two in downhill, three in giant slalom, and 13 in slalom.
Sabich turned professional after the 1970 season, following his friend Billy Kidd, who joined the pro tour in mid-season 1970. As a pro he joined Bob Beattie’s Benson & Hedges sponsored World Pro Ski Tour and was the pro ski racing champion in 1971 & 1972. Pro ski racing was conducted in a dual slalom format, with racers skiing head-to-head in elimination heats. The Pro Tour was known as a true test of endurance, the racers would ski against five opponents in one day and a total of 10 runs.
This great photo shows him pro racing with his Benson & Hedges bib. It was taken by John Terence Turner, who as a commercial photographer, that specializes in action shots which captured the essence of the experience, like Spider giving everything he had to win this race.
Size 22 x 28 inches