Lee-Gartner, Kerrin

Kerrin Lee-Gartner, skier (b at Traill, BC, 21 Sept 1966). Growing up in Rossland, BC, the home town of Olympic gold medallist Nancy GREENE, Lee-Gartner learned to ski at an early age. She joined Canada's national team at the age of 17. Though she performed well on the World Cup circuit, she suffered a number of serious injuries and never placed better than third. Nevertheless, at the 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES in Albertville, France, Lee-Gartner skied the race of her life on the difficult and dangerous Meribel course, capturing the gold medal in the Olympic downhill, skiing's most prestigious event. Lee-Gartner's win was the first of her career and the first-ever Olympic downhill gold medal won by a Canadian.

In Dec 1992 she finished third in Vail, Colo, and in Feb 1993 she missed winning in the downhill at Veysonnaz, Switz, by 9/100ths of a second, finishing in second place. Her most successful season came in 1992-93, and she finished the year as one of the top-ranked downhillers in the world. The death of close friend and fellow skier Ulrike Maier at a race in early 1994 devastated Lee-Gartner and she considered quitting racing. She stayed on the circuit for the Olympics in 1994, but could not finish better than 19th in the downhill and retired following the games. Following retirement Lee-Gartner embarked on a successful career as a television sports broadcaster. She has been a member of the ORDER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA since 1992.