Paving the Way: The Most Influential Women in Skiing

Paving the Way: The Most Influential Women in Skiing

By: Nicole Birkhold

Suzy Chaffee was allowed to be a member of the Denver University Ski Team, but wasn’t allowed to ride in the team van to practice because she couldn’t pass a male physical. Wendy Fisher put up with traveling with only men for years for the sake of a movie part. Kristi Leskinen and Sarah Burke used to forerun boys events just to get a chance to hit the same jumps.

The seven women on the following pages — from the very first freestyle ballet skiers to the X Games sweethearts we all know — have faced the challenges of being a girl in an industry that is well known for being a boys club. Without them, the landscape of women’s skiing wouldn’t be what it is today.


This story was originally published in the November 2009 issue of Freeskier.


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