A LONG WAY UP: The Making of a Winner by E.G. Valens

A LONG WAY UP: The Making of a Winner

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In January 1955, Jill Kinmont was, at eighteen, a Sports Illustrated cover girl, the most glamorous and publicized young skier in America. Then she crashed in pre-Olympic competition and in a moment's time was a quadraplegic with a broken neck and back, paralyzed from the shoulders down. A Long Way Up tells Jill's story from 1951, when she first became one of Dave McCoy's protegees and took to skiing seriously. It is the story of ""a girl who was a first class skier and is today a first class teacher, and who has always had, obviously, what it takes to win."" Jill emerged from twenty-five weeks in the hospital well but permanently handicapped. She had to learn to direct herself toward new goals (a process she does not publicly relive here). Her family sold the Rocking K, her father's dream ranch, to move into town so that she could attend UCLA. Another bad break was still to come: Dick Buek, the Olympic skier who wanted to marry her, died in a plane crash. She persevered and beat the competition who appeared in the form of the unhelpful naysayers. Today she teaches remedial reading to elementary schoolers in Washington. A profile in courage which underscores the bright-eyed, chin-up stance of its subject.

Publisher: Harper & Row