Picabo Street

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Picabo Street
Picabo Street in October 1999
Personal information
Born (1971-04-03) April 3, 1971 (age 53)
Triumph, Idaho, U.S.
OccupationAlpine skier
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[1]
Skiing career
DisciplinesDownhill, Super-G, Combined
World Cup debutDecember 6 1992
(age 21)
RetiredFebruary 2002 (age 30)
Teams3 – (1994, 1998, 2002)
Medals2 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams2 – (1993, 1996)
Medals3 (1 gold)
World Cup
Seasons8 – (1993 -2002)
(injured 1999, 2000)
Wins9 – (9 DH)
Podiums17 – (15 DH, 2 SG)
Overall titles0 – (5th, 1995)
Discipline titles2 – (DH: 1995, 1996)
Medal record
Women's alpine skiing
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1998 Nagano Super-G
Silver medal – second place 1994 Lillehammer Downhill
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1996 Sierra Nevada Downhill
Silver medal – second place 1993 Morioka Combined
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Sierra Nevada Super-G

Picabo Street (/ˈpkəb/; born April 3, 1971) is an American former World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist. She won the super G at the 1998 Winter Olympics and the downhill at the 1996 World Championships, along with three other Olympic and World Championship medals. Street also won World Cup downhill season titles in 1995 and 1996, the first American woman to do so, along with nine World Cup downhill race wins. Street was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 2004.

Early life[edit]

Street was born at home in Triumph, Idaho; her parents are Dee (a music teacher) and Roland "Stubby" Street (a stonemason). Her brother Roland, Jr. is one year older. Her parents decided to let Picabo choose her own name when she was old enough, so for the first two years of her life she was called "baby girl" or "little girl". At age three she was required to have a name in order to get a passport. She was named after the nearby village of Picabo.[2] 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 Rowmark Ski Academy for one year before returning to Sun Valley to race for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Before joining the academy, she was a member of the local Hailey Ski Team.[3]

Skiing career[edit]

Street 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, with her World Cup debut at age 21 in a slalom on December 6 1992. Two months later at the 1993 World Championships in Japan she won the silver medal in the combined event.[4]


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 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 Sierra Nevada, Spain.


While training in Colorado in early December 1996, Street suffered an ACL injury to her left knee and missed the remainder of the 1997 season.[5] A month after her gold medal win in the super G at the 1998 Winter Olympics, she careened off course at the final downhill of the 1998 season at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Street crashed, snapping her left femur and tearing the ACL in her right knee.[6][7] 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 sixteenth in the downhill.[2]

Commercial endeavors[edit]

Street appeared on the TV shows Nickelodeon GUTS in 1994, and Pyramid (2002). She performed 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.

In 1998 she signed with Giro Sport Design which was then developing its first winter sports helmet. In August she toured the company's headquarters/manufacturing facility, then located in Santa Cruz, CA. She spoke with the senior manufacturing engineer, a long-time skier himself, about the progression of equipment, signing a prototype helmet for him as she left.[8] 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 revealed the pressure placed on her by her sponsors to succeed and win, which she maintains contributed to her devastating 1998 crash. She also described how she was able to transform from a rebellious tomboy into a world-class athlete.

A feature film based on Street's life story was 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 was slated begin in 2010 in Argentina.[9]

She appeared in two skits on Sesame Street with the character Elmo and Telly. In one, Telly was looking for a place called Peekaboo Street and met the real Picabo Street; in the other, Elmo insisted on introducing Picabo because he thought she was a world champion peek-a-boo player. Her name also appeared in the song "One Big Mob" by the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Street was the runner up (with a time of 5:37) in the NBC celebrity reality competition series Stars Earn Stripes.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Street is retired and splits her time between homes in Alabama and Winter Park, Colorado. She has a son 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.[11] On August 3, 2009, Street gave birth to her second son.

On ESPN's College Game Day in Boise on September 25, 2010, Street stated that she was pregnant and expecting her third boy.

Street named her skis for people who were strong and meaningful to her. Among them are her "Earnies" (after Dale Earnhardt) and her "Arnolds" (after Arnold Schwarzenegger).[12]

In the early 2000s, an internet joke spread which claimed Street made a "substantial donation" to her hometown hospital, which named a wing after her, the "Picabo ICU" (as in "Peekaboo! I see you!"). Another version claimed she became an ICU nurse and would answer the phone by saying, "Picabo, ICU!" A less common variant claimed a fan feared Street would be injured and appear in a headline reading, "Picabo? ICU." All three variants of the joke were debunked by Snopes.[13]

World Cup results[edit]

Season titles[edit]

Season Discipline
1995 Downhill
1996 Downhill

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
Super G Downhill Combined
1993 21 39 56 39 18
1994 22 36 42 8 16
1995 23 5 8 1
1996 24 6 49 14 1 5
1997 25 71 25
1998 26 46 24 17
1999 27 no World Cup starts
2000 28
2001 29 68 26
2002 30 52 17

Race podiums[edit]

  • 9 wins – (9 DH)
  • 17 podiums – (15 DH, 2 SG)
Season Date Location Discipline Place
1993 March 13, 1993 Kvitfjell, Norway Downhill 2nd
1995 December 9, 1994 Lake Louise, Canada Downhill 1st
December 11, 1994 Super G 3rd
January 14, 1995 Garmisch, Germany Super G 2nd
January 20, 1995 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Downhill 2nd
January 21, 1995 Downhill 1st
February 17, 1995 Åre, Sweden Downhill 1st
March 4, 1995 Saalbach, Austria Downhill 1st
March 11, 1995 Lenzerheide, Switzerland   Downhill 1st
March 15, 1995 Bormio, Italy Downhill 1st
1996 December 1, 1995 Lake Louise, Canada Downhill 1st
December 16, 1995 St. Anton, Austria Downhill 3rd
January 19, 1996 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Downhill 1st
January 20, 1996 Downhill 2nd
February 3, 1996 Val-d'Isère, France Downhill 2nd
February 29, 1996 Narvik, Norway Downhill 1st
March 1, 1996 Downhill 2nd

World Championship results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super G Downhill Combined
1993 21 10 2
1996 24 3 1
1997 25 injured, did not compete
1999 27

Olympic results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super G Downhill Combined
1994 22 2 10
1998 26 1 6
2002 30 16


  1. ^ ALPINE SKIING: Picabo Street
  2. ^ a b Phillips, Bob (2002). "Injuries haven't stopped greatest U.S. skier". ESPN. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  3. ^ http://www.rowlandhall.org/schoollife/rowmark/college_placement/index.php Archived January 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Recent Articles : Ski Program – Rowmark Ski Academy, accessed February 21, 2010
  4. ^ "Vogt wins women's combined". Lodi News Sentinel. wire services. February 6, 1993. p. 15.
  5. ^ Baum, Bob (July 8, 1997). "Street's back on skis with sights set on Nagano". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 3B.
  6. ^ The Augusta Chronicle – March 14, 1998 – accessed April 3, 2011
  7. ^ "Street breaks leg in crash". Lodi News Sentinel. Associated Press. March 14, 1998. p. 12.
  8. ^ "The Santa Cruz Sentinel", August 6, 1998.
  9. ^ "SportsBusiness Daily: Names in the News". September 2, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2010. Producers Richard Weiner and Jeff Luini will make a new movie based on the life of U.S. skier Picabo Street. Directed by Charles Winkler and written by Eric Preston, Picabo will start filming sometime in '10 in Argentina.
  10. ^ "Stars Earn Stripes, Episode 105 (Harbor Demolition) Results". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Sheff-Cahan, Vicki (November 3, 2008). "Olympic skier Picabo Street weds". People. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  12. ^ United States Olympic Committee – Street, Picabo
  13. ^ [https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/picabo-icu/ - "Picabo ICU" joke

External links[edit]