Anne Heggtveit

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Anne Heggtveit
Alpine skier 
Ann Heggtveit 1960.jpg
Heggtveit with her Olympic gold medal
Club Ottawa Ski Club
Born (1939-01-11) January 11, 1939 (age 81)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Teams 2 – (1956, 1960)
Medals 1 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams 4 – (1954, 1956, 1958, 1960)
    includes two Olympics
Medals 2 (2 gold)

Anne Heggtveit, CM (born January 11, 1939) is a former alpine ski racer from Canada. She was an Olympic gold medallist and double world champion in 1960.[1][2]

Early years

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,[3] but did not compete.[4] His parents had emigrated from Norway to North Dakota.[5] She learned to ski at Camp Fortune ski area[6][7] 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.[8]

Racing career

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.[9][10] 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.[11][12] After leading the top half of the giant slalom, she fell twice near the finish was well back in 31st,[13] which dropped her final placing in the combined to 14th.[12]

Although Heggtveit suffered several injuries between 1955 and 1957,[4] she still earned a spot on Canada's Olympic team at age 17 in 1956 at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.[14]

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.[15][16][17][18]

At the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, California, Heggtveit won Canada's first-ever Olympic skiing gold medal.[14][19] 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.

World Championship results

  Year    Age   Slalom  Giant
Super-G Downhill Combined
1954 15 7 31 not run 9 14
1956 17 30 29 22
1958 19 8 15 7 6
1960 21 1 12 12 1

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).

Olympic results Olympic rings without rims.svg

  Year    Age   Slalom  Giant
Super-G Downhill Combined
1956 17 30 29 not run 22 not run
1960 21 1 12 12


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,[20] named for her fallen teammate.[21][22] 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.[2]

Heggtveit was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1960, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1971, and was among the first group inducted into the new Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1982.

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.[23]

Anne Heggtveit was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.[24]

She was in the first induction of the Lisgar Collegiate Institute Athletic Wall of Fame, as part of the 160th Anniversary celebrations.[25]


Following her competitive career, Heggtveit married James Ross Hamilton in August 1961,[26][27] and resided in Quebec. They had two children and later relocated to nearby Vermont in the United States.[20][28][29] She was later an accountant and photographer.[5]


  1. ^ Sullivan, Jack (February 27, 1960). "Anne Heggtveit wins Olympic slalom". Montreal Gazette. Canadian Press. p. 31.
  2. ^ a b "50 years ago skier Anne Heggtveit won gold". Canadian Olympic Committee. November 9, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "Halvor Heggtveit". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Years of effort climaxed by Anne's skiing victory". Montreal Gazette. Canadian Press. February 27, 1960. p. 31.
  5. ^ a b Knowles, Lori (December 2010). "Golden-girl Anne Heggtveit". Skiing Heritage: 38–40.
  6. ^ Heggtveit, Anne (October 15, 2010). "Cold sandwiches, cold toes — and loads of fun: memories of the Ottawa Ski Club". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Reliving Olympic gold". Low Down. (online). 2010. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "Anne Heggtveit for Lake Placid". Ottawa Citizen. January 24, 1946. p. 14.
  9. ^ "Ann(e) Heegtveight captures giant slalom at Norway". Ottawa Citizen. Canadian Press. February 22, 1954. p. 15.
  10. ^ "Ottawa ski club cables young Anne". Ottawa. February 26, 1954. p. 41.
  11. ^ "Swiss miss wins world downhill, Canadian entrants finish 7th, 9th". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. March 2, 1954. p. 19.
  12. ^ a b "Ottawa's Anne Heggtveit 7th in world slalom skiing". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. March 8, 1954. p. 27.
  13. ^ "Two falls cost Anne Heggtveit victory at Are". Montreal Gazette. Canadian Press Press. March 5, 1954. p. 22.
  14. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Anne Heggtveit". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC.
  15. ^ "Lucile Wheeler first again, wins world's giant slalom". Ottawa Citizen. Canadian Press. February 8, 1958. p. 1.
  16. ^ "Lucile and Anne give Canada ski prominence". Ottawa Citizen. Canadian Press. February 10, 1958. p. 11.
  17. ^ "Anne Heggtveit places 8th in world slalom ski final". Ottawa Citizen. Canadian Press. February 4, 1958. p. 9.
  18. ^ Schmitt, Herbert (February 4, 1958). "U.S. Japan, Norway show improved ability in world alpine ski championship" (PDF). Evening Recorder. Amsterdam, New York. Associated Press. p. 12.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Jack (February 27, 1960). "Anne captures world ski title". Ottawa Citizen. Canadian Press. p. 9.
  20. ^ a b Koffman, Jack (November 21, 1961). "Honor Anne as 1st winner John Semmelink Memorial". Ottawa Daily Citizen. p. 15.
  21. ^ "Tragedy mars Canadian ski triumph". Montreal Gazette. Canadian Press. February 9, 1959. p. 17.
  22. ^ Ball, Robert (February 16, 1959). "Of ice and death". Sports Illustrated: 52.
  23. ^ "Trail map". Camp Fortunate ski area. 2013–14. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  24. ^ "Find by year inducted". Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  25. ^ Alere Flammam, Lisgar Alumni Association Newsletter, Fall 2004
  26. ^ "Engagements". Montreal Gazette. February 16, 1961. p. 19.
  27. ^ "Personals". Montreal Gazette. August 10, 1961. p. 17.
  28. ^ "Championship winter sports events at Lake Placid". Ottawa Citizen. February 17, 1962. p. 20.
  29. ^ Christie, James (June 14, 2009). "Where are they now: Anne Heggtveit". TSN. Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 4, 2014.

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