By: Nicole Birkhold
Suzy Chaffee was allowed to be a member of the Denver University Ski Team, but wasnâ€™t allowed to ride in the team van to practice because she couldnâ€™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 â€” from the very first freestyle ballet skiers to the X Games sweethearts we all know â€” 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 womenâ€™s skiing wouldnâ€™t be what it is today.
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This story was originally published in the November 2009 issue of Freeskier.