Tag Archives: Olympics

Wheaties: Mikaela & Gretchen

wheaties cereal box mikaela shiffrin ski racer olympic gold medalxgretchen frasier ski champion wheaties cereal ad advertisement 1952xgretchen frasier ski champion wheaties cereal ad advertisement 1953

The only thing better than Mikaela Shiffrin gracing the Wheaties box . . . Gretchen Fraser representing the cereal brand the 1950’s.  Breakfast of Champions!

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Golden Girl: Mikaela Shiffrin

caledonian record february 02 23 2014 mikaela shiffrin gold vermont newspapermikaela shiffrin sochi olympics gold medal burke mountain academy caledonia record feburay 23 2014

She did it!

Front page of the February 22, 2014 Caledonian-Record, Vermont newspaper local to Mikaela’s alma mater:  Burke Mountain Academy Alumna Mikaela Shiffrin Becomes Youngest Slalom Champion in Olympic History

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Sochi 2014: Women’s Slalom

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. . .

mikaela shiffrin slalom world champion 2013 schladming austria atomic skisMikaela winning the 2013 Slalom World Championship, photos taken at Schladming, Austria.  She went on to win the 2013 FIS Slalom Title at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.  Could Olympic gold be next?

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

andrea mead lawrence olympics oslo 1952 gold medal slalom2/19/1952 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.

betsy snite 1960 winter olympics squaw valley california slalom silver medal2/10/1960 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 1964 innsbruck austria olympics bronze squaw valley slalomBarbi 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.

barbara ann cochran val gardena italy ski slalom richmond vermont2/13/1970 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 germany champion world cup olympics innsbruck 1976 gold medalRosi 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.

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St. Moritz: Skeleton

skeleton racing st moritz switzerland vintage bobsled

Olympic skeleton racing concludes today.  I know nothing about the sport other than it looks both insane and incredibly cool.  Last summer, I found this vintage photo — when else will I have a relevant occasion to share it!

Some cursory research informed me that St. Moritz, Switzerland is the birthplace of skeleton racing.  The head-first position was first used in 1887, a variation on the established sports of bobsled, luge and Cresta sledding.  Note the embossed Kulm St. Moritz, of the famous hotel integral to the history of this and apparently many other winter sports.

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Sochi 2014: Jumping into History

johanne kolstad hilda braskeruds ski jump vintage norway womenJohanne Kolstad and Hilda “Nusse” Braskeruds of Norway, pioneers of women’s ski jumping in the 1930s.

johanne kolstad hilda braskeruds ski jump vintage norway womenKolstad (left) toured the U.S. for five years in the mid-1930’s jumping at exhibitions. She was popular with fans and known as The Queen of Skis (or Skies) or The Wonder Girl.  Her 1938 world record jump of 72 meters at Berlin, New Hampshire remained unbroken until 1972.

johanne kolstad hilda braskeruds ski jump vintage norway womenAll vintage photos from the book Hopp, Jenter- Hopp! (Jump, Girls, Jump!) by Karin Berg.

sochi 2014 ski jump women japan sara takanashi Sara Takanshi of Japan in flight off the normal hill at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  Photo:  AP/ Matthias Schrader

carina vogt germany sochi 2014 women ski jump champion gold medalFebruary 11, 2014 – Carina Vogt of Germany earned the first-ever Olympic gold medal awarded for women’s ski jumping.  Photo:  AP/ Matthias Schrader

sochi 2014 women ski jump daniela irashchko stolz austriaDaniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria flies over the Olympic rings.  Photo:  AP/ Matthias Schrader

Finally!  It seems crazy that this is a landmark in 2014 – but given that gender inequality has plagued ski jumping at the Olympic level – there is reason for celebration with the Sochi Winter Games.  The U.S. Women’s team — lead by World Champion Lindsey Van, Sarah Hendrickson and Jessica Jerome – has tirelessly fought for the inclusion of women’s ski jumping in the Olympics.  Tuesday, that became a reality.

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Women’s Olympic Downhill: It’s On!

cindy nelson ski race downhill 1976 winter olympics innsbruck austriaIn 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.

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Downhill Gold: Franz Klammer

franz klammer austria winner gold medal men downhill ski innsbruck olympics sports illustrated

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!

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Vladimir Zarubin: Woodland Olympics

happy new year vintage postcard russia zarubin animals podium medals ski racexhappy new year vintage postcard russia zarubin ice hockey rabbit bearxhappy new year vintage postcard russia zarubin bear rabbit snowman ski racexhappy new year vintage postcard russia zarubin bear rabbit ice skate skating

It seems only appropriate to share artist Vladimir Zarubin’s Olympic illustrations on the eve of the 22nd Winter Games kicking off in his native Russia.  These retro new year’s postcards are believed to be from the mid-1980’s.

Wishing all athletes the best of luck with their pursuits and dreams. . .

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U.S. Women’s Olympic Alpine Ski Team

us american women olympic ski team 1936 olympics garmisch partenkirchen germany davos switzerlandFebruary 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!

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Ski Legend: Andrea Mead Lawrence

andrea mead lawrence ski racer bad gastein austria 1952 winner giant slalomJanuary 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.

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