Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top Game-Changing Female Athletes of All Time

I was asked to share this link to the site naming the top 10 game-changing female athletes of all time. I agree with the editors choices with one exception: they did not mention U.S. alpine skier Andrea Mead Lawrence.

Andrea was the first American skier to win two Olympic gold medals in giant slalom and slalom events. This victory was huge, finally placing an American for the first time on the podium formerly dominated by Europeans. She did it at the 1952 Games in Olso when she was only 19 years old.

Andrea was picked to be on the U.S. Olympic team when she was just 14 years old. Her first Olympics was 1948 (St. Moritz) at age 15. She was a three-time Olympian, competing in the 1956 Games after having three children. Andrea was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1958. Later in life, she was an outspoken advocate for  conservation in the Sierra, founding the non-profit Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers. She died in 2009 at age 76.

I met Andrea at her home in Mammoth Lakes, California around the late 90s when she was passionately involved with her environmentalist group—Friends of Mammoth—to preserve the natural beauty of the area she loved so much. This seemed much more important to her than her gold medals, though she acknowledged her celebrity was an asset "to doing something really good in this world."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Women's Ski Jumping Is a Go!

For five years, women ski jumpers have waited to get their sport into the Olympics. After an unsuccessful legal battle to get into the 2010 Vancouver Games, women's ski jumping is fianlly set to take its place at the 1014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as ruled by The International Olympic Committee executive board this week.