Barbara Ferries Henderson - Athlete - 2006

Born in Houghton, Michigan in 1944, by 1947 she was on her first pair of skis.   Taken with the wind in her face and the challenge of speed, Barbara excelled as a skier.Winning the US Junior National Championship in both downhill and combined in 1960 on Aspen Mountain marked the beginning of the career of one of America’s great ski racers of the 1960’s, Barbara Ferries Henderson. Deciding to settle in Aspen and following her brother there, Barbara attended Aspen High School.  That year she won the Andrea Mead Lawrence National Junior Skier of the Year award. In 1961 Barbara won the Roch Cup in downhill and giant slalom, as well as the Harriman Cup in Sun Valley that same year.  It was not long before this emerging talent was recognized by United States Ski Team coach Bob Beattie, and in 1962 Barbara was named to the United States Ski Team. It was the beginning of Barbara’s international ski racing career, and she would go on to win the bronze medal in the downhill at the World Ski Championships in Chamonix, France. At a time when women were not encouraged to compete in the male sport of downhill skiing, Barbara became one of America’s best speed skiers. She would go on to represent the United States at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, with fellow teammates Billy Kidd, Bill Marolt, and Jimmie Heuga.Barbara is a true ski pioneer. She paved the way for the following generations of female ski racers to compete in the high risk sport of downhill skiing. Barbara’s successful racing career and many ski accomplishments were honored in 1978 when she was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame. Barbara has remained active in the snow sports industry and she still participates in the American Ski Classic downhill race!  As of 2008, Barbara continues to work in the ski industry. She is a sales rep, selling Chums, Chisco, and Beyond Costal. She resides in Nederland, Colorado.