John Dendahl skiied for the University of Colorado, helping them win the 1959 NCAA skiing team title. In 1960 Dendahl won the NCAA nordic combined championship and was named skimeister. He eventually settled in New Mexico, where he became a syndicated columnist, businessman, and politician. He started in the 1960s as an engineer for Eberline Instrument Corp, which made radiation monitoring instruments, and he later became CEO of the company. He would leave that position to be CFO of St. John’s College in New Mexico, and in the mid-1980s was President of the First National Bank of Santa Fe.
From 1988-90, Dendahl was Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism for New Mexico. In 1994 he ran unsuccessfully for governor of New Mexico, but later that year was named chairman of the New Mexico Republication Party, a post he held until 2003. In 2006, Dendahl again ran for New Mexico governor, losing decisively to incumbent Gov. Bill Richardson. Dendahl then retired from public service and moved back to Colorado, where he went back to writing political columns and consulting for conservative causes and candidates. Dendahl was inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame and the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1960 Winter Olympics||Cross Country Skiing (Skiing)||USA||John Dendahl|
|4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic)||United States||11|