Behind The Gold
11:23 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Inspired Teen

The eyes of America were on the men’s team in 1964 at Innsbruck, but a young girl from Oregon stole the show.

Hi, this is Tom Kelly and I’ll be right back with the Olympic story Behind the Gold.

An Olympics in your home country brings great excitement across a nation. It also inspires youth who are captivated by their heroes. Oregon’s Jean Saubert was a young teenager who was inspired by watching Penny Pitou and Betsy Snite-Riley beaming with pride as they medaled in Squaw Valley at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. The high school senior relished her experience and went back home more motivated than ever. She was the dominant women's ski racer in America and headed to the 1964 Olympics on a wave of publicity. Despite a focus on the U.S. men, it was Saubert who would initiate the U.S. medals with bronze in slalom and silver in GS.

The Hall of Famer went on to attend BYU and become a teacher in her native Oregon, before dying from cancer in 2007. She relived her Olympic moment as a torch bearer prior the to Salt Lake City Olympics. She didn’t bring out her medals often, but every four years her students had the opportunity to learn about her past glory. Today those medals are on display at the USSA center of excellence in Park City.

This is Tom Kelly with Behind the Gold … Only in Park City … Only on KPCW.

Behind the Gold is sponsored by Rosenberg Cooley Metcalf.