Kiki Cutter - Athlete - 2000
Christina “Kiki” Cutter, a native of Bend, Oregon, is the first American skier, male or female, to win a World Cup title (in the slalom at Oslo, Norway in 1968). A member of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, she has been called one of America’s greatest women athletes, and is acknowledged by ski coaches to be among the finest skiers ever produced by the United States. For two decades, she held the American record for most World Cup victories by a U.S. Skier. Cutter joined the U.S. Ski Team after winning the U.S. National Downhill Championship at age 16 in 1967. She remained a member of the Team in 1968-1970; as well as America’s F.I.S. Team for the World Championships in 1970; and the U.S. Olympic Team in 1968 at Grenoble, France. Born into a family of skiers, Kiki’s early successes as a junior racer foretold her achievements on the national team. In 1968, at the Grenoble Olympics, she was the only American female to ski in all three disciplines, slalom, giant slalom and downhill. Though only 18, Kiki achieved the highest placing of any American woman. According to SKI Magazine, Cutter was “by far the most successful U.S. racer on the early World Cup circuit,” and in 1968, won America’s first World Cup title in the slalom at Oslo, Norway, where the young American was congratulated by King Olaf. In 1968, she was ninth in the overall World Cup standings. In the 1969 season Kiki won the World Cup giant slalom at Oberstaufen, Germany, and took slalom titles at Mount St. Anne, Quebec and Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, placing her fourth in the world in overall points and second in slalom. The French, whose alpine team dominated early world Cup racing, called Kiki “La Dangerousse Americaine,” as she posed a strong threat to their racing superiority. Indeed, until Phil Mahre came along, Kiki’s five World Cup titles made her the United States’ top winner. In 1970, Kiki won another World Cup championship at St. Gervais, France, before turning professional racing on the early Women’s Pro Tour. In addition, she placed fourth and third in two nationally-televised Women Superstars Competition. An accomplished all-around athlete, she was cited by James A. Michener, in his book “Sports in America,” as “the best American ski racers of that period. In 1995, she was featured on the cover of “Vail Beaver Creek” Magazine in a tribute to the Legends of Skiing races. In 1993 Kiki with her sponsors and friends created the KIKI CUTTER WORLD CUP SKI RACING SCHOLARSHIP to assist young ski racers in the development of their careers. A rotating fund in administered by selected racing organizations with outstanding junior programs. Ski Club Vail conducts the inaugural scholarship programs. Future grants will be rotated to other junior racing programs. For the past thirty-plus years, Kiki has represented Rossignol skis and boots, and presents, along with Christin Cooper and Tamara McKinney, the nationwide series of ROSSIGNOL SKIING FOR WOMEN SEMINARS. In January 1996, Kiki created “Aspen – The Spirit of Skiing” a new concept in celebrity fundraising events. Held in Aspen at The Ritz-Carlton as a benefit for Gilda’s Club, the event is sponsored by PEOPLE Magazine, Revlon, Coca-Cola, Aspen Skiing Company, The Ritz-Carlton and many others to bring together ski champions, business executives and celebrities in a celebration of the true spirit of Aspen skiing. Proclaimed a success by attendees and the media, the event will be repeated annually.