The First Female Gold Medalists, Week 9: Sailing & Freestyle Skiing

Excerpts taken from Team USA’s article dated March 24, 2016. 

For the third consecutive week, we stay at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. The U.S. women continued their dominance in piling up the golds.

1988, Seoul – Sailing – Allison Jolly & Lynne Jewell

Jolly and Jewell won gold in the women’s 470 class despite being a long shot to do so. In the first race of the Games they placed third, and in the next race their boat capsized twice. But they managed to stay in contention, finishing strong in the remaining races to win gold with a convincing lead. They were the only American sailors in either gender to win gold at those Games, and they remain one of only two female American crews to have won Olympic gold.

1992, Barcelona – Freestyle Skiing – Donna Weinbrecht

Though Weinbrecht’s first sport was figure skating, she found her calling when she began skiing recreationally with her family and got into moguls. She won three world championship medals – silver in 1989 and 1997 and gold in 1991 – and was a five-time world cup season champion (1990-92, 1994 and 1996). Her Olympic gold was the first ever awarded in women’s freestyle skiing, and she is viewed today as a pioneer in her sport.