Marvin Melville: Mormon Athlete
Marvin Melville is a former Olympic skier. He competed as one of four starters on the eight-man United States team in the 1956 Games held in Cortina, Italy. He did not win a medal, but in 1964 he became the assistant coach for the U.S. women’s ski team, which included Jean Saubert.
Melville was born on February 15, 1935. He started skiing at the age of ten when his father bought him a pair of army skis, poles, and boots, and immediately took him skiing. He found skiing came naturally and he competed in a few junior races. In 1955, he won the Snow Cup, skiing better than former Olympic racers. So while a student at the University of Utah, he joined the university’s ski team and won NCAA titles in both slalom and combined.
He had an unusual training period prior to the Olympics. He was drafted and required to go to basic training but was able to go to Chile for a couple of months of ski training. He then went to basic training and then to Europe for skiing. During that time period, he broke his leg, was sent back to Germany then on to Utah for 60 days for surgery and recuperation, and married before he was finished with the military.
Melville skied in the 1960 Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, California, but performed poorly due to pressure and did not medal. He retired afterward and went on to receive his degree from the University of Utah. He coached high school skiers after forming the Alpine Training School.
He and his wife, Renee, are the parents of five daughters. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.