Six Women Making a Difference
In honor of International Women’s Day, we put together a list of six women we’re proud to call representatives of our sport. These ladies, ranging from athletes to industry leaders, have helped skiing's cause and should serve as an inspiration to everyone.
Lindsey Vonn is an icon when it comes to female ski racers. Not only is she part of a small handful of women who have won World Cup races in all five disciplines, her strength and determination have shone through multiple injury setbacks. Her recent second-place finish in the World Cup Downhill came after she fractured her arm just this past November.
Growing up in Colorado, Shiffrin grew up living and breathing ski racing. Her strong foundation during her youth enabled her, at age 16, to become the youngest American ski racer to claim a national title. In 2015, Shiffrin took home the World Championship slalom title at Vail and Beaver Creek, her own stomping grounds. Recently Shiffrin claimed her 29th World Cup victory at Crans Montana.
Lynsey Dyer is a pioneer when it comes to female big mountain skiers, proving that women too can send it down steep spines and huck huge cliffs. She’s also racked up quite the résumé: Dyer has starred in major films produced by Warren Miller and Teton Gravity Research, among others, and has directed and produced her own film, “Pretty Faces.” Dyer also co-founded SheJumps, an organization aimed at increasing participation of girls in outdoor activities.
Coalition Snow, a ski company started by women, for women was founded by CEO Jen Gurecki, alongside other forward-thinking women from Lake Tahoe, California. Sick of the “shrink it and pink it” attitude towards women's ski equipment, Gureki sought to do something about it. Coalition Snow sells skis, snowboards and apparel designed and built specifically, and exclusively, for women. Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, Coalition Snow launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first YOUth line of skis and snowboards, paving the way for future generations of young female rippers.
Suzanne "Suzy" Chaffee
Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee, although being well-known for her role in Chapstick commercials, was more importantly at the forefront of women’s equality in sports. She was an instrumental voice with the passage of Title IX and served as a pioneer for the basic human rights of Olympic athletes. Chaffee served as the first woman on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Board of Directors and in 1996 was a co-founder of the Native Voices Foundation, an organization that sought to increase the development of Native American athletes for the Olympics.
Jeannie Thoren was a skier with a mission from a young age, paving the way for the evolution of women’s ski equipment. Sensing a strong correlation between her performance and her equipment, Thoren made adjustments to what she was skiing on, and saw immediate improvement. Wanting to spread her knowledge, Thoren held the first women’s gear clinic in 1981. Five years later Thoren developed and built the first women’s-specific ski for Blizzard.
An honorable mention goes to any women in your life—today is a day to reflect on not just these famous women in the ski industry, but any women who have inspired you.