For more than a century, people around the world have honored International Women's Day. It began on March 19, 1911, when millions of men and women across Europe came together to rally against the present barriers that faced all women, particularly the right to work without discrimination, to be trained and educated, and to vote and hold public offices. With each passing year, concerns around equality have adapted to and been shaped by a progression of ideas and yet, while the conversation shifts with changing times, it is no less important to consider the distances we still can travel together. On International Women's Day, we celebrate the women who made history and changed the world. But we also remember the ways we can uphold inclusivity in our community and take action to create a more equitable world for future generations.
Celebrate and learn more with a Ski History Challenge and check out more Women's Week Events
Gretchen Fraser was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing. Fraser first came to Sun Valley in 1938 to compete in the Harriman Cup and, shortly after, made Sun Valley her home. Fraser was selected for the 1940 Olympic Team, but after the games were canceled due to World War II, she spent the following years rehabilitating wounded veterans through skiing lessons and working as a ski double in Hollywood films. In the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Fraser won the gold medal in the Slalom and the silver medal in the Alpine Skiing Combined event.
Christin Cooper is an Olympic medalist and World Cup alpine ski racer. Although born in California, Cooper was raised in Ketchum after her mother, Glenn Cooper, remarried, former Sun Valley owner, Bill Janss,. Cooper joined the US Ski Team in 1977 and competed on the World Cup circuit for 8 seasons, racing in the Slalom, GS, Super G, Downhill, and Alpine Skiing Combined. In the 1982 World Championships, Cooper won two silver medals and one bronze medal. In 1984, she went on to win the silver medal in the Giant Slalom at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Games.
Marianna “Muffy” Davis, a native of Sun Valley, is a US Ski & Snowboard Hall-of-Famer and Paralympian. Davis was 16 years old and a member of the US Junior Ski Team when an accident left her paralyzed from the chest down. After learning how to sit-ski, Davis earned her place on the US Paralympic Team, winning the bronze medal in Slalom in the 1998 Nagano Paralympic Games. She went on to win three silver medals in the Giant Slalom, Super G, and Downhill in the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympic Games. Among numerous other accomplishments, Davis also won three gold medals in handcycling at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Davis continues to be a champion for differently abled athletes.
Picabo Street is an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup athlete. Born in Triumph, Idaho, Street learned how to ski in Sun Valley. At the age of 17, Street was named to the US Ski Team and competed for 8 seasons primarily in Downhill and Super G. In 1993, Street won the silver medal in the Morioka World Championships and went on to win the gold and bronze medals in the 1996 Sierra Nevada World Championships. A first-time Olympian at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Street won the silver medal in Downhill. Four years later, in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games, Street won the gold medal in Super-G.
Born in Bellevue, Idaho, Kaitlyn Farrington is an Olympic gold medalist and first female professional snowboarder to perform a backside 1080. Competing in the X Games, Farrington medaled twice in the Superpipe winning a silver medal in 2011 and a bronze medal in 2014. Shortly after, Farrington competed in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and won the gold medal in Halfpipe.