Congressman Gerald Ford was an avid downhill skier before he became infamous for terrorizing spectators on the golf course while away from the Oval Office.

While Gerald Ford doesn't rank in the top echelon of best presidents of the United States, he will always be the answer to the trivia question: "Which president was the only one never elected to the office of president or vice president?" Nixon named the Congressman vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973, and Ford would take the oath of office as the 38th President when Nixon himself stepped down in disgrace in 1974. We love him here in his adopted home state of Michigan. Before public opinion polls, Gerald Ford loved ski poles, boots, bindings, and fresh powder.

Today, we may think of politicians as old white men who have been ensconced in Washington DC for decades, but this wasn't always the case. Gerald Ford first got involved in politics in his adopted hometown of Grand Rapids after he returned from serving in the United States Naval Reserve during World War II. He would later serve as a member of the US House of Representatives for 25 years on Michigan's east side.

It was during this time that Congressman Ford and his wife Betty used head up north to ski. Ford was always an avid athlete, playing center, linebacker, and long-snapper for the Wolverines while at the University of Michigan. His Wikipedia page asserts that "he turned down offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League." While he may have been an all-American football player, he was not such a natural at golf. He had a lifelong love affair with the game and played often, despite famously hitting onlookers in the gallery on occasion. He rarely lost his temper, and never his sense of humor.

I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.

-Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford and Bob Hope
Getty Images

During the winter months when the greens and fairways were covered in snow, you could find Ford on the ski slopes at Boyne Mountain. One of the most historic resorts in Michigan, Boyne Mountain Resort opened as Boyne Ski Club in 1948. Boyne pioneered snowmaking innovations and was home to the very first chairlift in the midwest. In the 1950s, Betty Ford was a ski bunny, while her dashing husband was shredding the slopes at Boyne Mountain, trying to avoid a gnarly crash.

Vintage Michigan Winters

107.7 WRKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

This Is Why You Should Check Out The Tahquamenon Falls This Winter

Look, you're going to love the Tahquamenon Falls in the summer and fall months, but have you had a chance to check the falls out in the wintertime? Check out what you're missing if you aren't heading out and enjoying the snow and water.


More From 107.7 WRKR-FM