In 1938, a German ski team was dispatched to Western Massachusetts by Adolf Hitler to compete in the Eastern Downhill Championships, which were held that year on the slopes of Mount Greylock.
Over seven thousand spectators lined the wooded ski trail called Thunderbolt. They witnessed the defeat of local favorite Rudy Konieczny of Adams, who was that year’s runner-up, by the University of Munich’s Fritz Dehmel.
Seven years later, during the Second World War, Konieczny was killed in combat while serving as a member of the U.S. Army Tenth Mountain Division in the Italian Alps. In 1999, at the summit of Mount Greylock, descendants of the Konieczny family took part in a ceremony dedicating the Thunderbolt Ski Shelter to the former skier and soldier. And this weekend, that dedicated shelter will keep dozens of skiers and boarders warm as they wait for the beginning of the 2013 Thunderbolt Ski Race.
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