Parisien was 19 and had just grad­u­ated from Burke. The stands were packed with class­mates, fam­ily, and friends. “There’s a pic­ture I have from that day that means so much to me. I’m in the fin­ish, my hands in the air. I’m fac­ing the au­di­ence, and in the au­di­ence you can see all these peo­ple from my life—class­mates, fam­ily, my brother, who’s now passed—and ev­ery­one’s go­ing crazy. That pic­ture is a his­tory of my life. I’d love to see an­other ath­lete have that at Killing­ton, to win in front of peo­ple who know you and sup­ported you.”

Times have changed, and now 25 years later there’ll be a World Cup GS on Satur­day and a slalom on Sun­day, Nov. 26 and 27.

“I hope se­cu­rity’s not crazy and peo­ple can walk up the hill and get close,” says Parisien, now a nurse and mother of three liv­ing in Au­gusta, Maine. “That was part of what was so cool about Water­ville. The spec­ta­tors were so close. I ba­si­cally sprayed them in the fin­ish.”

Parisien’s mo­ment atop the racing world was all too brief. In the 1992 Olympics, she was fifth in the GS. The next day, she won the first run of slalom, then fin­ished fourth, 0.05 sec­onds out of the medals. Later that year her brother was killed by a hi­tand-run drunk. And like a lot of U.S. Team women in that era, Parisien burned out. “Racing just lost its fun.” Af­ter a slalom win in 1993 (also on Amer­i­can snow: Park City) she never won again.

Noth­ing ever came close to that day at Water­ville Val­ley. “That was my ca­reer right there,” she says. “I was fourth and fifth in the Olympics, and I won a sil­ver in Worlds, but that was the most awe­some mo­ment of my ca­reer. It’s the mo­ment I take the most pride in. I set out to win that day, and then I just did it.” ●

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.