Andrea Mead Lawrence (1932 - 2009)
The first and only American alpine skier to have won two gold medals in any Winter Olympics, Oslo, Norway, 1952.
"You can only be a world class athlete so many years, it is what you do with the rest of your life that counts."
Andrea Mead Lawrence began skiing at age three at Pico Peak, the area founded by her parents Bradford and Janet in 1937. At ten, she started racing. At fifteen, she went to her first Olympics in St. Moritz, 1948, as the youngest member of the team. In 1952, at the Oslo, Norway, Games, she won the gold medal in the Giant Slalom by 2.2 seconds. Three days later, she won her second gold medal in the Slalom event. After falling in her first run, she came from fourth place to win gold by .8 seconds. She continued to train for the 1956 Olympics in Cortina, Italy, after marrying David Lawrence in 1951 and beginning a family.
Andrea applied the same determination born from competitive skiing to environmental causes in Mono County, California, and the Sierra Nevadas. She has been a leader in protecting open spaces, wildlife habitat, recreation areas, water resources, and air quality. She said, "A lot...has to do with the values that come out of being a Vermonter - a sense of community, a caring about where I live...I think people have a right to comment about the direction and quality of their community..."
In addition to countless other honors, in 2002, Andrea Mead Lawrence was named the "Greatest Winter Olympian of All Time". Her remarkable athletic feats shaped the future of women's skiing. She continues as a champion in her dedication to wilderness causes. She said about her 1952 victories: "My purpose was to do the best job I could. I set a standard for myself that every single time I left the starting gate I would put 150 percent of my effort into it. I extend myself to the maximum all the time." Both her philosophies and successes make her the ideal first inductee into the Vermont Ski Museum Hall of Fame.