Most of us who participate in snow sports are in awe watching the greatest skiers and snowboarders in the world. And, the female athletes – like Chloe Kim – are putting on quite a show. Here’s a look back at some of our successful U.S. competitors. Many of these women already have been inducted in the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. For more inductees, see Part 2 of the “salute to U.S. female ski and snowboard athletes”. And, visit the Hall of Fame site for even more accomplished women.
Let’s start with the obvious.
Andrea Mead Lawrence is the ONLY American ski racer to win two Gold Medals at a single Olympics. She did so at the 1952 Winter Games in slalom and giant slalom. She also was a renown environmentalist.
Shannon Dunn-Downing was the first ever American woman to win an Olympic medal for snowboarding when she claimed the halfpipe bronze in Nagano in 1998. In 1996, she was one of a group that set up the charity Boarding for Breast Cancer, with the mission statement of making breast cancer awareness and breast health a topic of conversation among
Kelly Clark won the gold in the half pipe at the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City. The Kelly Clark Foundation was established in 2010 to provide youth with the resources and opportunities they need to achieve their highest potential through snowboarding.
Chloe Kim became the youngest women’s snowboarder to win an Olympic gold medal at age 17, while Lindsey Vonn became the oldest women’s alpine skier to medal at age 33. Vonn was inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame.
Vonn is regarded by many as the best U.S. female skier although she may be sharing that title. The Lindsey Vonn Foundation “provides future generations the tools they need to pursue their passion, overcome obstacles, and reach their goals through scholarships, programs, and mentorship”.
History will certainly look fondly on Mikaela Shiffrin. She has smashed records set by some of the most accomplished U.S. skiers, male or female and her current issues are unfortunate.
Who could deny the cross country skiing performance by Jessie Diggens and Kikken Randal at the 2018 Olympics? History in the making and one of the most exciting “moments in sports”.
Donna Weinbrecht’s Olympic gold in 1992 was the first ever awarded in women’s freestyle skiing. The Games took place in Albertville, France.
Venturing beyond skiing and snowboarding, there is a plethora of information about other women who have excelled at winter sports.
There are just a few other women who have helped shape the U.S. snow sports industry over the years. There are plenty more. What are YOUR thoughts?