Tamara McKinney

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Tamara McKinney
— Alpine skier —
Disciplines Giant Slalom, Slalom, Combined, Super G, Downhill
Born (1962-10-16) October 16, 1962 (age 52)
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
World Cup debut December 10, 1978 (age 16)
Retired November 27, 1990 (age 28)[1]
Website tamaramckinney.com
Olympics
Teams 3 - (1980, 1984, 1988)
Medals 0
World Championships
Teams 5 - (198089)
Medals 4 (1 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 11 - (197989)
Wins 18 - (9 GS, 9 SL)
Podiums 45
Overall titles 1 - (1983)
Discipline titles 3 - (2 GS, 1 SL)

Tamara McKinney (born October 16, 1962) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from the United States. She won four World Cup season titles, most notably the 1983 overall, the only American woman to hold that title for a quarter century, until Lindsey Vonn in 2008. McKinney's other three season titles were in giant slalom (1981, 1983) and slalom (1984). She was a world champion in the combined event in 1989, her final year of competition.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, the diminutive McKinney (5 ft 4 in (1.63 m), 115 lb (52 kg)) grew up in Squaw Valley, California, the youngest of seven children.[2][3]

She made her World Cup debut in December 1978 at age 16 with a podium finish in a slalom in Italy. Her first World Cup victory came at age 18 in January 1981, the first of four wins in giant slalom that breakthrough season. McKinney raced on the World Cup circuit for 11 seasons, and competed in three Olympics and five world championships. She won four medals in the world championships; bronze medals in the combined (1985, 1987) and slalom (1989), and a gold medal in the combined at Vail in 1989.

While winning the overall World Cup in 1983 at age 20, she also won the giant slalom title, which she also had won in 1981. In 1984 McKinney won the slalom title, and took fourth place in the giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, behind teammates Debbie Armstrong and Christin Cooper.

While training for the upcoming 1990 season, McKinney broke her left leg (for the third time) in Saas Fee, Switzerland, in mid-October 1989.[4] Slow to recover, she announced her retirement in November 1990 at age 28[1] and completed her career with 18 World Cup victories, 45 podiums, and 99 top ten finishes.[5] Eight of her victories were in the U.S., with six at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, which included double victories in 1983 and 1984. Along with Gretchen Fraser, Andrea Mead-Lawrence, and Lindsey Vonn, McKinney is regarded as one of the top female alpine ski racers in U.S. history.

She was inducted in the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004, and is a realtor in the Lake Tahoe area.

World Cup results[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
Slalom
Super G Downhill Combined
1979 16 25 21 13 not
run
1980 17 14 10 24
1981 18 6 7 1 12
1982 19 9 12 4
1983 20 1 2 1 not
awarded
(w/ GS)
6
1984 21 3 1 3 9
1985 22 8 2 11 17
1986 23 24 14 20 31 28
1987 24 6 2 10 32
1988 25 54 19
1989 26 11 3 13 8
1990 27 injured in October, missed entire season

Season titles[edit]

Season Discipline
1981 Giant Slalom
1983 Overall
Giant Slalom
1984 Slalom

Race victories[edit]

  • 18 wins - (9 GS, 9 SL)
  • 45 podiums
Season Date Location Race
1981 20 Jan 1981 Switzerland Haute-Nendaz, Switzerland Giant Slalom
24 Jan 1981 France Les Gets, France Giant Slalom
28 Feb 1981 United States Waterville Valley, NH, USA Giant Slalom
8 Mar 1981 United States Aspen, CO, USA Giant Slalom
1983 5 Dec 1982 Italy Limone Piemonte, Italy Slalom
9 Jan 1983 Switzerland Davos, Switzerland Slalom
23 Jan 1983 France Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, France Giant Slalom
8 Mar 1983 United States Waterville Valley, NH, USA Giant Slalom
9 Mar 1983 Giant Slalom
13 Mar 1983 United States Vail, CO, USA Giant Slalom
20 Mar 1983 Japan Furano, Japan Slalom
1984 10 Mar 1984 United States Waterville Valley, NH, USA Giant Slalom
11 Mar 1984 Slalom
23 Mar 1984 West Germany Zwiesel, West Germany Giant Slalom
24 Mar 1984 Norway Oslo, Norway Slalom
1985 5 Jan 1985 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Maribor, Yugoslavia Slalom
16 Mar 1985 United States Waterville Valley, NH, USA Slalom
1987 18 Dec 1986 Italy Courmayeur, Italy Slalom
11 Jan 1987 Austria Mellau, Austria Slalom

Video[edit]

  • You Tube.com – 1989 World Championships – gold medal in combined

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Champion skier retires". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. November 28, 1990. p. 2B. 
  2. ^ Johnson, William Oscar (February 7, 1983). "To her, speed thrills". Sports Illustrated: 40. 
  3. ^ Beech, Mark (March 18, 2002). "Tamara McKinney and Phil Mahre, Skiers". Sports Illustrated. 
  4. ^ "Tamara McKinney breaks leg, might miss entire World Cup". Deseret News. Associated Press. October 19, 1989. p. D5. 
  5. ^ Ski-db.com - Tamara McKinney - accessed 2010-11-28

External links[edit]