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Category Archives: Vintage Ski Racing
I am particularly excited for (and anxious about) the women’s Olympic slalom race – mostly due to Mikaela Shiffrin and the very realistic chance that she could win Olympic gold. Thankfully, this is a night race in Russia which means we in the USA can easily catch the first run live in the morning (7:45 am EST) – only hours away. Now it’s just that pesky 11:00 am meeting I have to do something about. Don’t think I can bear to miss the conclusive second run. . .
Olympic slalom champions throughout the years:
1948 St. Moritz, Switzerland – Gretchen Fraser, USA
1952 Oslo, Norway – Andrea Mead Lawrence, USA
1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy – Renée Colliard, Switzerland
1960 Squaw Valley, USA – Anne Heggtveit, Canada
1964 Innsbruck, Austria – Christine Goitschel, France
1968 Grenoble, France – Marielle Goitschel, France
1972 Sapporo, Japan – Barbara Ann Cochran, USA
1976 Innsbruck, Austria – Rosi Mittermaier, West Germany
1980 Lake Placid, USA — Hanni Wenzel, Liechtenstein
1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia – Paoletta Magoni, Italy
1988 Calgary, Canada — Vreni Schneider, Switzerland
1992 Albertville, France – Petra Kronberger, Austria
1994 Lillehammer, Norway – Vreni Schneider, Switzerland
1998 Nagano, Japan – Hilde Gerg, Germany
2002 Salt Lake City, USA – Janica Kostelic, Croatia
2006 Torino, Italy – Anja Pärson, Sweden
2010 Vancouver, Canada – Maria Riesch, Germany
2014 Sochi, Russia — Mikaela Shiffrin, USA
2/19/1952 AP Photo: Andrea Mead Lawrence, U.S. women’s ski star from Rutland, Vt., holds up the gold medal she received in Oslo, Norway, yesterday. The medal was the Olympic award for her victory in the women’s giant slalom at the opening of the Winter Olympics last week. One day following this photo, Andrea would go on to win a second gold in slalom.
2/10/1960 AP Photo: HAPPY BETSY ZOOMS DOWN SLOPE – You can tell from Betsy Snite’s expression that she’s happy to get in her first practice run down Papoose Mountain today since coming to Squaw Valley, Calif., to get ready for the Winter Olympic games. Betsy, of Norwich, Vt., is an experienced international competitor rated a good prospect to win a medal for Uncle Sam. Betsy Snite won slalom silver at these Olympics.
Barbi Henneberger of West Germany followed Snite with bronze in the 1960 Squaw Valley slalom. 1/25/1964 AP Photo: AWAITS OLYMPICS OPENING – This is Barbi Henneberger, a young German skier. She is one of many girl skiers gathered at Innsbruck, Austria for the winter Olympic games which begin on Wednesday. Barbi won a bronze medal at the 1960 Olympics.
2/13/1970 AP Photo: Val Gardena, Italy – Barbara Cochran of Richmond, Vt., curls around one of the 60 gates to give United States its first silver medal of this world alpine ski championships, here today. She placed second in the women’s special slalom, won by France’s Ingrid Lafforgue. Two years later, Barbara won the slalom at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics.
Rosi Mittermaier of Germany wears her three Olympic medals earned in 1976 at Innsbruck, Austria. The haul includes gold medals for slalom and downhill, a silver medal for giant slalom. For Sochi 2014, it is the men’s slalom that is important to Rosi as favorite Felix Neureuther is her son.
In a setting of grandeur, pigtailed Cindy Nelson thrusts out over the downhill course on which she won a prized bronze medal for the U.S. From Sports Illustrated coverage of the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
Up late to watch the women’s downhill live from Sochi. Rooting for Julia Mancuso all the way! I think my dream podium would be: Mancuso gold, Maria Hoefl-Riesch silver, Anna Fenninger bronze. Lindsey Vonn will be missed, of course. Very, very sad for Tina Weirather, out with a leg injury incurred in training a few days ago – she deserves to continue her winning season.
The men’s downhill kicks off the alpine ski events of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. At the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics, Franz Klammer of Austria cemented himself as a ski legend with his relentless, even reckless, charge to gold. Like Klammer, Bode Miller of Team USA will be racing to win wearing bib #15 – here’s hoping for the same result!
2/20/1953 Press Photo: This trio of crack Dartmouth skiers led a field of 38 from nine colleges to give the Indians an early lead today at Middlebury, Vt. in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association’s championships. Left to right: Ralph Miller of Hanover, N.H.; Bill Tibbits, North River, N.Y., and Brooks Dodge, Gorham, N.H.
The legendary Dartmouth Winter Carnival is underway this weekend with EISA / NCAA alpine and nordic ski races headlining the schedule of events. After day one, the University of Vermont Catamounts are in the top spot, Dartmouth in second, University of New Hampshire in third.
This history and lore of the Dartmouth Winter Carnival lives on in a vibrant collection of event posters. Highly revered and collectible, original posters are increasingly rare and demand a premium at auctions such as Christie’s and Swann Galleries annual poster sales. Click here to view an archive of Winter Carnival poster images from the Dartmouth College Library Collections.
February 11, 1936 Press Photo: The American Olympic Games Ski-ing Team, ladies’ contingent, at Davos, Switzerland, where these fair young women enjoyed training on the lofty Parsenn, under the expert tutelage of Swiss ski runner Otto Furrer. From right to left: Mr. Otto Furrer, Trainer (Switzerland); Miss Helen Boughton-Leigh, Captain; Miss Clarita Heath; Miss Grace Carter; Miss Elizabeth Woolsey; Miss Lillian Swann; Miss Ellie Eyre Smith; Miss Marian McKenn; Miss Mary Bird. Photo credit: J.P. Caspar, Davos
Alpine skiing debuted at 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany with a single event – the Combined comprised of downhill and slalom. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will feature five alpine ski events for each gender: Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super Combined.
Congratulations to the team of women who will be representing USA: Stacey Cook, Julia Ford, Julia Mancuso, Megan McJames, Laurenne Ross, Mikeala Shiffrin, Leanne Smith, Resi Stiegler, Jacqueline Wiles. Lindsey Vonn and Alice McKennis will be missed!
January 27, 1952 Press Photo: THE WINNER RELAXES – Andrea Mead Lawrence of Rutland, Vt., is shown taking things easy after posting another victory in a tuneup ski match for the Olympics. The famed woman skier removes her goggles after winning the giant slalom at Bad Gastein, Austria. She competed against the top women skiers from six nations.
Contrary to the description in the photo caption, I do not think Andrea Mead Lawrence is “taking things easy” — all I see is the look of the fiercely intense competitor. Just weeks later, she went on to win two gold medals at the Winter Games in Oslo, Norway – the first and only American to win twice in a single Olympics.
It goes without saying that Andrea’s confidence brought the gorgeous US Ski Team uniform to life with mad style (and a remarkably tiny waist). And let’s not forget the race sponsor, Pez – of candy dispenser fame – is an Austrian brand founded in Vienna.
2/3/1974 Press Photo: The alpine ski world championships in St. Moritz have to change their program for the downhill race for men had to be postponed, the bad weather did not allow the necessary pre-race training on the run. So these fast men on their narrow woods have to wait for sun. Top favorite Roland Collombin (right) and his friend Philippe Roux bring their skis for waxing to Swiss wax-expert Paul Berlinger (left).
Tonight I arrived home to the smell of ski wax – yes! I consider myself fortunate that my husband tunes a mean ski. We probably have another week or two until we are on snow but our skis are ready!
1/31/1948 Press Photo: OLYMPIC GAMES OPEN IN ST. MORITZ. The United States women’s ski team, wearing for the first time their light grey Olympic suits.
Team members L-R: Gretchen Fraser, Paula Kaan, Dodie Post, unidentified, Brynhild Grasmoen, Andrea Mead, Ruth Marie Steward, Suzy Harris Rytting, Ann Wynn.
At St. Moritz, Gretchen Fraser won the gold medal in Slalom and the silver medal in Combined. Andrea Mead was only fifteen years old at this, her first Olympics. Four years later at Oslo, she won both the Giant Slalom and Slalom and remains the only American skier to have won two gold medals in a single Olympics. With the strength of the current U.S. Alpine Ski Team, I would not be surprised to see this remarkable record finally broken at the 2014 games. And I look forward to see what the team will be wearing at Sochi – on the hill and on the podium.
1/30/1952 Press Photo: Grindelwald, Switzerland. . . Mrs. Suzy Harris Rytting, considered the beauty queen of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Ski Team, will get a letter of apology from the U.S. Olympic Ski Committee because of her ouster from the team. Mrs. Rytting was sent home by the selection committee when it was learned she is an expectant mother. In her home in Salt Lake City, Mrs. Rytting explained she didn’t mind so much being sent home but thought she was treated rather shabbily by the committee. She asked to remain in Europe until her mother or her husband could join her but she was told, she said, by team officials that she had to leave immediately.
Fortunately, times have changed. I can’t help but be reminded of the incredible and inspirational Sarah Schleper who took a year off from her esteemed U.S. Ski Team career for the birth of her son, Lasse – and then returned as a mom, with her family, for several more years of World Cup and Olympic competition!