January 26, 2012 by staff
Picabo Street, Picabo Street ( born April 3, 1971) is a retired American alpine ski racer. She won gold medals in super G at the 1998 Winter Olympics and in downhill at 1996 World Championships, along with three other Olympic and World Championship medals. She also won World Cup downhill season titles in 1995 and 1996, the first American woman to do so, along with a total of 9 World Cup downhill race wins. Street was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 2004.
Street was born in Triumph, Idaho, and was named (as a toddler) after the nearby village of Picabo. She was raised on a small farm in Triumph, several miles southeast of Sun Valley, where she learned to ski and race. She attended Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School in Salt Lake City, Utah, and participated in its ski academy, Rowmark, for one year before returning to Sun Valley to race for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Before the academy, she was a member of the local Hailey Ski Team.
Street first joined the U.S. Ski Team in 1989, at the age of 17. She primarily competed in the speed events of downhill and super G and made her World Cup debut at age 21 in a slalom on December 6, 1992.
After her silver medal performance in the downhill at the 1994 Winter Olympics, a run was named after her at Sun Valley, on the Warm Springs side of Bald Mountain, the expert run formerly known as “Plaza” became “Picabo’s Street.” Street joined Christin Cooper and Gretchen Fraser as Sun Valley Olympic medalists (their named runs are on Seattle Ridge).
By winning the 1995 downhill title, she became the first American ever to win a World Cup season title in a speed event. She repeated as downhill champion the following season, adding the title of world champion with her gold medal at the 1996 World Championships in Spain. In early December 1996, she suffered a knee injury in training in Colorado after competing in just two races and sat out the remainder of the 1997 season. A month after her gold medal win in the super G at the 1998 Winter Olympics, Street careened off course while racing at the final downhill of the 1998 season at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. She crashed and snapped her left femur into two and tore a ligament in her right knee. She was in rehabilitation for two years following the accident.
Street returned to ski racing in late 2000, and retired from international competition after the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, where she finished 16th in the downhill.
Street is now retired and splits her time between homes in Alabama and Park City, Utah. She has a son, Treyjan James Pawley, born in August 2004, with her former partner N. J. Pawley. On October 25, 2008, she married businessman John Reeser atop Prospect Mountain, near Hanceville, Alabama. On August 3, 2009, Picabo gave birth to her second son, Dax Meyer Street Reeser, in Birmingham.
On ESPN’s “College Game Day” in Boise on September 25, 2010, Picabo stated that she was pregnant and expecting her third boy.
She named her skis mainly after people who were strong and meant a lot to her. Among them, she has her “Earnies” (after Dale Earnhardt) and her “Arnolds” (after Arnold Schwarzenegger).
She appeared on the TV shows Nickelodeon GUTS in 1994, and Pyramid (2002). She did very well on the show American Gladiators, where Street used her strength to defeat the gladiator character “Ice” in a couple of events.
In the late 1990s, after her success at the 1998 Winter Olympics, Street became a spokeswoman for a variety of products, including the soft drink Mountain Dew and ChapStick-brand lip balm. She also appeared on Celebrity Paranormal Project.
She wrote an autobiography in 2001 titled Picabo: Nothing to Hide (ISBN 0-07-140693-X). In it, Street reveals the pressures placed on her by her sponsors to succeed and win, which she maintains contributed to her devastating 1998 crash. She also writes of how she was able to transform from a rebellious tomboy into a world-class athlete.
A feature film based on Street’s life story is in development as of late 2009, written by Eric Preston with director Charles Winkler slated to direct, and produced by Jeff Luini and Richard Weiner. Filming will begin in 2010 in Argentina.
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