In memoriam: Famed skier, retailer Roger Buchika dies

A legendary skier and retailer, Roger Buchika died on Dec. 18, 2011, at the age of 67.
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Race-winning skier and award-winning retailer Roger Buchika, died on Dec. 18, 2011, at the age of 67. According to the official obituary, Buchika, of Atkinson, N.H., died peacefully with his loved ones by his side. 

Under the tutelage of Olympic skier Brooks Dodge, Buchika earned the National Junior Slalom title, and was a 1966 graduate of Middlebury College, where he starred on the winning Alpine Ski Team. In 1965, he was named to the United States Ski Team, and after graduation, he was a top ranking amateur in the East. He continued his ski racing career for many years and was a National Masters Champion.

As a retailer, Buchika was president and CEO of Buchika's Ski Shops, the business having been started in 1961 as a part time venture by his father George Buchika to fund Roger's ski racing career. Roger joined his father in the business in 1970, and expanded to locations in Salem, N.H. and Bethel, Maine. He established Great American Ski Rental Co., with locations throughout the White Mountain ski areas of New Hampshire. He was a member of the board of directors of Ski Merchandising Corp.(SMC), and was honored as New England Retailer of the Year, a Gold Medal Shop by Ski Magazine, one of the Top Ski Shops in North America, Best Ski Shop in New England, Best in USA, and most recently the BEWI award for snowsports marketing, and the New England Sports Representatives Hall of Fame Award.

“Roger was a big part of the SMC family, SMC President Tom Gately told SNEWS. Buchika’s Ski Shop joined the group in the very early formative years of the group and Roger served on various hardgoods committees and the board of directors. He was extremely well respected as a savvy specialty ski retailer and was often quoted for his famous line during one of the SMC buyers’ meetings, 'You cannot underbuy!' Above all he was a gentleman and good friend. He will be sorely missed.”

In lieu of flowers, donations in Roger's memory may be made to the Roger Buchika Alpine Skiing Fund, in support of the Middlebury College Alpine and Nordic Ski Teams; and may be sent to Middlebury College, 5 Court Street, Middlebury, Vt., 05753.

--Peter Kray

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