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Dale Myrberg
This year we are honoring Dale Myrberg, National Yo-Yo Grand Master and World Yo-Yo champion with the "Harvey Lowe Lifetime Achievement Award".

Dale Myrberg recently went back to a reunion at his South High School in Salt Lake City, Utah – from which he graduated in 1960. While he had never performed on the stage at his high school when he attended it, 45 years later he found himself the hit of the variety show portion of the reunion. Dale has been entertaining people with his performances for years and hopes to entertain audiences well into the future.

He has lived his entire life in Salt Lake City. His first exposure to a yo-yo came when his brother brought home a friends Duncan. Dale took it and gave it a throw. The string was too long for the five-year-old boy, so he ended up standing on a chair to throw it and discovered he could make it go up and down. When he was 9 or 10, a mom & pop store called "Jimmy's Store" across from his Elementary School had a yo-yo contest. He became introduced to Jimmy "Willy" Anderson , the traveling yo-yo man through Duncan's campaign manager, Herman Ridgeway. Anderson took a shining to Dale and taught him a lot of stuff. Dale and his friends looked forward to the annual visit from the Duncan yo-yo man, calling the local hotel to see if they had reservations for any of the pros for months before they arrived. Dale did so good that Duncan asked him if he wanted to work for them for $1 an hour. "I told them, well yea, I'd like to work for them," but one of the stipulations was that he couldn't enter the contests. He would demo at local stores and help them run local contests. He became somewhat of a celebrity among his friends when he appeared on the "Uncle Rosco" show as well as the "Engineer Ron" shows. When he was 15, he was with the Duncan guys at the Utah State Championships, held behind a Woolworth. He told them he'd like to enter the contest, but they told him he couldn't. He offered to forego the prize if he won, and they relented. He ended up winning the contest, with the second place finisher taking home the television while Dale earned his $1 an hour.

Once he got to High School, Dale hung up his yo-yos. "I didn't think it was a cool thing to do at South High." Years later, when Dale was 32 and had been working for Utah Power and Light for six years, he was on a survey crew and told some of they guys with him that he was a state champion yoyoer. They didn't believe him. He happened to find a couple Duncan Satellites in a store and started doing some stuff and impressed the guys. He realized he still could do some stuff. He made up a trick list of 45 tricks he could remember. He started doing shows, school assemblies in the mid 70's. He found out the Duncan was looking for people to do shows in Salt Lake City and called them. Donna Walch, from Duncan, came out and was impressed. He ended up doing a lot of local Utah stuff. He ran into Arne Dixon at a local library in 1980 and ended up doing some shows fro Arne. With each new performance, Dale was building confidence and learning new tricks from anyone he would meet. In 1983, Jack Russell was doing some test marketing and sent out Daniel Volk to Salt Lake City. Dale met with Volk and make quick work of picking up what Volk had to teach him.

Someone gave Dale a Hummingbird yo-yo, from Brad Countryman and Dale was impressed. He contacted Brad, who ended up inviting him to demonstrate at the 1987 New York International Toy Fair, which he has done 7-8 times since for Hummingbird and later for What's Next, Countryman's successor to Hummingbird. Countryman was talking with a producer from the Smothers Brothers show who was looking for people to appear on the Smothers Brothers show. Countrymen referred the producer to Dale, who was invited to come out for the show. When he showed up, Tom Kuhn was there with Daniel Volk – who ended up performing on the show and in the instructional video tape. Dale thought that was that, and that his chance to perform with Tommy Smothers was gone when he got a call a couple months later from the Smothers show, asking him to appear along with Barney Akers, Bob Rule, Joe Radovan, Harvey Lowe and Gus Somera. Dale was thrilled to be included in such a group and flew out. Unfortunately, Somera and Radovan could not attend the taping, but the resulting footage with Dale, Akers, Rule and Lowe can still be seen at the end of the Smothers Yo-Yo instructional video. That was the first time Dale met Akers, Lowe and Rule and all the performers became very good friends at the taping. He learned lots of 'in the pocket' tricks from Akers. Lowe straightened Dale out with his outside loop, telling him to "hook it, Myrberg!"

Years later, Dale would set the AYYA World Record for outside loops, thanks to the advice he got from Lowe. Dale Oliver, Bill deBoisblanc and Dale established the World Records at Worlds in 1996 - Dale setting nine of them in the hall of the hotel. All of his records were done with fixed axle yo-yos. "I'm an old schooler." He had a hard time accepting ball-bearing yo-yos, now he loves watching the things possible with ball-bearing yo-yos. He reminds people that "the old school is a good school, " and without the old school, the new stuff would not be possible. One of his pet-peeves about ball-bearing yo-yos is that they provide "instant gratification" to the player. It spins so long that they can learn Atomic Bomb as a first truck. Dale believes people should start with the basics - they should earn their way along the list. Learning with a fixed-axle yo-yo, including looping, they're more likely to get to compete in the diminishing AA (two-handed looping) division.

Dale started running the Utah State contest in 1989 and was unaware of any other contests. He learned that Bob Malowney had started Nationals in 1988 and called Bob, asking him if he would like him to come. Bob welcomed him and Dale has been every year since.

Dale has been part of Worlds since it was established by Dale Oliver in 1992. He finished in second to Dale Oliver the first year and eventually won the World Title in 1996. He also took part in the initial Freestyle contest at the 1994 Nationals. He won the division, which was a exhibition that first year.

Dale, along with Dale Oliver and Dennis McBride, was named one of the original three National Masters by Bob Malowney in 1995. "If it wasn't for what Dale and Bob created and competing with Bill, I would never be anywhere near I am now as a player or a person." He worked for What's Next during the yo-yo boom in the 90's - traveling around the country while leading the "Extreme Team" demonstrators.

Dale is planning on remained very active in yo-yoing. He has been waiting on scheduling performances due to his recent battle with bladder cancer. He still judges when asked to do so and wants to increase the amount of performances at motivational assemblies, libraries, county & State Fairs. He has performed at October Fest with Snow Bird Ski Resort for 18 consecutive years.

He also does donation work for good caused. Last year he performed at the Salt Lake City Cancer Society walk. They asked him back this year and he told them this year, he would be doing the performance as a survivor.

Dale Myrberg urges people to make sure they go to their doctors regularly for your physical - early detection is the key.