Tag Archives: Tamara McKinney

Tamara McKinney 9: Mikaela Shiffrin 7

tamara mckinney ski race racer val disere france time magazine 1984 olympicsTamara McKinney in Time magazine, January 30, 1984, photo by Yarbrough-Team Russell.

tamara mckinney ski race aspen winternational colorado World Cup giant slalom action at the Aspen Winternational.

tamara mckinney ski race racer vail giant slalom rossignol descenteMarch 12, 1983 Press Photo:  VAIL, COLO:  USA’s Tamara McKinney takes a gate during the first run of Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom.  McKinney had the second best time of 1:11:59, only 0.01 second behind teammate Cindy Nelson.  McKinney is attempting to become the first American woman to win the overall World Cup Championship.  UPI jm/Pat Benic

Tamara’s signature bunny hat was made by her sister who sells specialty knit goods through her Kentucky-based company, Ouisha.

tamara mckinney us ski team athlete olympics 1984Training for the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.  ABC press photo.

With Mikaela Shiffrin’s win at Flachau yesterday, she has racked up seven World Cup slalom wins – quickly gaining on Tamara McKinney’s nine victories, the record for any American woman in slalom.

Tamara McKinney was my first ski hero.  Her small stature but aggressive style coupled with her girl-next-door image and trusty Rossignol skis offered a strong, female role model in the sport.  Her racing accomplishments include being the first American woman to win the World Cup overall title, two Giant Slalom titles, a Slalom title, multiple World Championship medals and a long list of career wins and podiums.  She is a legend without question.

My husband and I have been devout followers of Mikaela Shiffrin — her stunning talent and rapid ascent — since we watched her win the slalom at the 2010 J-III Junior Olympics when she was 15.  We had heard the hype but it wasn’t until we witnessed her runs that we truly grasped what this young girl could mean to the world of ski racing.  Amazed by her performance, I began referring to her as “Magic Girl”.  I was thrilled to be present to watch her win the slalom title at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria last winter.

So, with that, it is bittersweet for me to watch Mikaela gain on Tamara’s slalom record in record time!

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Rolex: Tamara & Lindsey

tamara mckinney ski rolexxlindsey vonn ski rolex adBefore Lindsey Vonn, Tamara McKinney was the “winningest American woman in ski racing history”.  Rolex luxury watches gives their support to the best:  Tamara then, Lindsey now.

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Christin Cooper & Schladming: Then and Now

cooper_schladming82Schladming 1982, Women’s Combined:  Perrine Pelen (France), Erika Hess (Switzerland), Christin Cooper (USA).  Photo:  NZZ.ch

020950©anapolitano2013Schladming 2013:  Christin Cooper with Julia Mancuso. . .

020951©anapolitano2013. . . and Alice McKennis

In 1982, Christin Cooper won an impressive three medals at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria:  Silver in Slalom, Silver in Giant Slalom, Bronze in Combined.

It must have been special for Christin to return to Schladming for the 2013 World Championships, this time around as a commentator for NBC Sports.  Watching the final women’s downhill practice, it appears she is a sincere and engaged mentor to the U.S. women’s team.

I had the good fortune of randomly meeting Christin on a walking path leading up out of the Schladming village.  For me, this couple minute chat was a pretty big deal as she, along with Tamara McKinney, made an indelible impression on me as a young ski-racing girl in the mid-80s.  I feel extremely fortunate to have had such strong and inspiring women role models at such a formative time in life.  Thank you, Christin!

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