The name Picabo Street is synonymous with excellence in the sport of downhill skiing. Leading up to and following her exceptional gold medal performance at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Picabo's career on the mountain has no doubt been jagged and covered with obstacles; however, her resilience and sheer determination has earned her the title of one of today's most talented female athletes.
OLYMPIC CHAMPION, Super G, Nagano, Japan, 1998
Gold Medalist, NORAM Competition, Downhill, Snowbasin, UT, 2001
Silver Medalist, US National Championships, Big Mountain, MT, 2001
Gold Medalist, World Championship, Downhill, Sierra Nevada, 1995
Bronze Medalist, World Championships, Super G, Sierra Nevada, 1995
Silver Medalist, Olympic Games, Downhill, Norway, 1994
Gold Medalist, U.S. National Championships, Downhill, Vail, 1994
Silver Medalist, U.S. National Championships, Super G, Vail, 1994
Gold Medalist, World Championships, Combined Downhill, Japan, 1993
Silver Medalist, World Championships, Combined, Japan, 1993
Silver Medalist, National Championships, Combined, Vail, 1993
Bronze Medalist, National Championships, Downhill, Vail, 1993
World Cup Overall Title, Downhill, 1995-1996 and 1996-1997
United States Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year, 1995 and 1998
1993 Female Alpine Skier of the Year, Ski Racing Magazine
Ranked Number One, Overall Northern American Standings, 1992
Ranked Number One, Overall Northern American Standings, 1991
Member 1994, 1998 and 2002 Olympic Teams
January, 2005, Induction to the National Ski Hall of Fame In 1971, Picabo was born to Dee and Ron Street in their home in rural Idaho. Dee and Ron settled in the small town of Triumph with hopes of providing their children with an environment where they could grow up as free spirits and where they would learn to rely on themselves. A focus on teaching their children the importance of independence and self-reliance inspired the Streets to allow their children to choose their own names. When Picabo was three, her parents helped her decide on the name of a favorite local creek, which translated from the Shoshone and Bannock Indian languages as shining water or silver creek.
Picabo began skiing at the young age of five, often outperforming many of her male counterparts. She climbed the ranks of Junior Nationals and joined the United States Ski Team in 1988. After struggling in her early years of competition, Picabo seized her first major victory in 1993; inspired by teammate Hilary Lindhs 1992 Olympic silver medal, Picabo won the silver medal in the combined competition at the World Alpine Championships in Morioka, Japan. Later that same year, Picabo went on to win the giant slalom at the US National Championships in Winter Park, Colorado.
In the 1993-1994 seasons, Picabo posted consistent results and positioned herself for an Olympic medal. Her most impressive race of the season proved to be at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway when she captured silver in the downhill competition. It was this achievement that propelled Picabo to the summit of the skiing world.
The 1994-1995 season rendered six World Cup downhill victories for Picabo and with her unprecedented success; she became the first American (male or female) to win a downhill season title. 1996 resulted in another huge triumph for Picabo in Sierra Nevada, Spain where she won the World Championships, and again the World Cup downhill title.
After years of cruising by her competition, Picabo was avalanched by disaster in the beginning of the 1996-1997 season. During a training run in Vail, Colorado, Picabo crashed and tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee. She was forced to miss the entire season to rehabilitate her body from arguably the most devastating injury for a skier. However, it would be the years following this injury that would expose the world to the exceptional depth of Picabos relentless spirit.
Seven months and three days later, Picabo again put on her skis at Mount Hood in Oregon and headed up the lift to resume her training. Her seemingly egotistical goal included not only a return to the competitive circuit but a trip to the 1998 Olympics as well. Within eight short months, Picabo clenched an Olympic berth and prepared for the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. Only a dozen days prior to her race, Picabo suffered a crash so intense it knocked her out. Whereas many anticipated that the crash would negatively affect Picabos Olympic performance, it actually proved to be a necessary element in her Olympic success. A blessing in disguise, the fall had proven to Picabo that her knee was strong and would hold under pressure. She could whole-heartedly and confidently resume her fearless, reckless style of racing. Her amazing comeback came full circle when Picabo won the gold medal in the super giant slalom.
Atop the skiing field, gold medal in hand, Picabo opted to forego the talk shows and sponsor requests and instead chose to compete at the World Cup final in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. With plans to ice her cake with this race, Picabo never even fathomed the possibility of another crash. Going faster than 60 mph, she lost control and flew into the fence, breaking her left femur in four places and tearing the ACL in her right leg.
The severity of this injury would sideline Picabo for two years and public thoughts of her revisiting the sport were few and far between. Further, Picabo doubted her own will and interest in skiing competitively again. However, the break from skiing only fueled Picabos fire and at age 29, she again returned as an active member of the US Ski Team in the 2000-2001 season.
Picabos unsurpassed resilience and strength carried her through two years of intensive training in preparation for her second incredible return. The 2000-2001 season resulted in four NorAm victories for Picabo, a 2nd place finish at US Nationals and a renewed sense of confidence and accomplishment. In 2002 Picabo accomplished her goal of competing at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and retiring in front of her devoted fans that comprised the largest crowd at a ski race in American history.
Picabos current commercial activities include broadcasting assignments with CBS Sports and the Outdoor Life Network as well as on-going celebrity endorsements with Chapstick, Giro helmets, Bolle eyewear and Park City Mountain Resort. Recent Picabo media features have aired on NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports, and the Discovery Health Channel and in additional print and on-line media such as Smart Money Magazine and the Rocky Mountain News. Contemporary Books - a division of McGraw Hill released Picabos autobiography in 2002, with writer Dana White. Picabo, Nothing to Hide was available nationwide until recently and is now available via the internet. The US Ski Team recently announced that Picabo has been elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame with the Class of 2004.
Picabo is the national spokesperson for the National Childrens Alliance, and Right to Play. She resides in Park City, Utah where she enjoys spending time with her family, her horses and her dog. Picabo and her fianc welcomed a baby boy into this world in the early fall of 2004 and she is enjoying motherhood immensely. As one might expect, Picabo remains addicted to the thrill of speed and personal accomplishment in all facets of her life.
Picabo is also a contestant on NBC's reality show Stars Earn Stripes, where celebrities contend with one another while executing military challenges that are inspired by real exercises.
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