|Alpine skier ♀|
Heggtveit with her Olympic gold medal
|Club||Ottawa Ski Club|
|Born||January 11, 1939|
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Height||5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)|
|Teams||2 – (1956, 1960)|
|Medals||1 (1 gold)|
|Teams||4 – (1954, 1956, 1958, 1960)|
includes two Olympics
|Medals||2 (2 gold)|
Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Heggtveit was raised in New Edinburgh, a northeast suburb. She was encouraged into alpine skiing by her father, Halvor Heggtveit, a Canadian cross-country champion who qualified for the Winter Olympics in 1932, but did not compete. His parents had emigrated from Norway to North Dakota. She learned to ski at Camp Fortune ski area in the nearby Gatineau Hills of Quebec, northwest of Ottawa, and was a student at Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa. Heggtveit was a ski racing prodigy, invited at age seven to serve as a forerunner to a downhill race at Lake Placid in 1946.
At the age of 15 in 1954, Heggtveit first gained international attention when she became the youngest winner ever of the Holmenkollen giant slalom event in Norway. She also won the slalom and giant slalom at the United States national junior championships, and finished ninth in the downhill and seventh in the slalom at the World Championships in March at Åre, Sweden. After leading the top half of the giant slalom, she fell twice near the finish was well back in 31st, which dropped her final placing in the combined to 14th.
At a time when Europeans dominated alpine skiing, Heggtveit was inspired by the breakthrough performance of teammate Lucile Wheeler of Quebec, who won Olympic bronze in the downhill in 1956, and three medals at the World Championships in 1958 at Bad Gastein, Austria. Wheeler won gold in the downhill and giant slalom events, and took silver in the combined. Heggtveit finished in the top ten in three events, with an eighth in the slalom, seventh in the downhill, and sixth in the combined.
At the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, California, Heggtveit won Canada's first-ever Olympic skiing gold medal. Her victory in the Olympic slalom also made her the first non-European to win the world championship in slalom and combined. Heggtveit was the first North American to win the Arlberg-Kandahar Trophy, the most prestigious and classic event in alpine skiing.
From 1948 through 1980, the Winter Olympics were also the World Championships for alpine skiing.
At the World Championships from 1954 through 1980, the combined was a "paper race" using the results of the three events (DH, GS, SL).
|1956||17||30||29||not run||22||not run|
Heggtveit was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's outstanding athlete of 1960. She was also the first recipient of the John Semmelink Memorial Award in November 1961, named for her fallen teammate. Her performance on the world stage was again recognized in 1976 when she was made a member of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor.
Heggtveit has a road named after her at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in the Town of the Blue Mountains, west of Collingwood, Ontario. She also has a ski run named after her at Camp Fortune, an extremely difficult double black diamond run.
Following her competitive career, Heggtveit married James Ross Hamilton in August 1961, and resided in Quebec. They had two children and later relocated to nearby Vermont in the United States. She was later an accountant and photographer.