© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cross-Country Skier Wins Gold Medal at Age 74

In the 1950s, Medford rancher and real estate developer John Stewart Day speed-climbed four Oregon peaks in a day and climbed six towering Washington mountains in nine days. An all-around outdoorsman, Day was a record-setting, big-game hunter and holder of several national age-group bicycle racing records.

A Medford High School graduate, Day studied at Oregon State, the University of Oregon and the Harvard Business School.  He married Mary Parsons, the daughter of a well-known Medford family. He owned the 4,000-acre Blue Moon Ranch near Central Point and developed properties in East Medford and the Gold Ray Estates near Sams Valley. 
After a 1960 mountaineering accident slowed him down at age 51, Day took up cross-country skiing and spent a winter in Norway learning to race.  From his Medford office, he promoted Nordic skiing in Oregon and won a gold medal at age 74 in an international cross-country skiing competition. 
Day died in 1986. The following year the Southern Oregon chapter of the Oregon Nordic Club recognized his “extraordinary contribution to cross country skiing” by organizing the annual John Day Memorial ski race at Diamond Lake Resort, which will be held this year on Feb. 16.

Sources: Horn, Huston. "Steps to the Stars." Sports Illustrated 3 Feb. 1964. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.  "John Day -- Skier, Outdoorsman, Mountain Climber and Bicyclist ." Southern Oregon Nordic Club John Day Memorial XC Ski Race. Club Crawl in Whistler, Web. 9 Jan. 2014. 

Dennis M. Powers was a business law attorney with various real estate and business ventures before teaching as a full professor and later professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (b.a.), the University of Denver Law School (j.d.), and Harvard Business School (m.b.a.).