Year Inducted: 2011
Born: April 28, 1965--Reno, Nevada
In the 80 year history of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, there are just over two dozen American women who have won a fabled World Championship snowflake medal. In 1985, during a decade that included famed skiers Dianne Roffe and Tamara McKinney, Eva Twardokens joined the club with a stunning giant slalom bronze medal in Bormio, Italy.
To make the day sweeter, she was one of three Americans in the top four as Roffe won the race and Debbie Armstrong was fourth.
Twardokens was born into an Olympic family. Her father, Jerzy, fenced for Poland at the 1952 Olympics and defected to the United States after the 1958 World Fencing Championships in Philadelphia.
After making her World Cup debut in 1982 at age 17 with a 13th place finish in a combined event in Piancavallo, Italy, she was named Ski Racing Junior of the Year in both '82 and '83. She went on to produce a successful 12-year World Cup career that included three podium finishes and 34 top-10 results.
Her storybook rise to fame began just two seasons after her World Cup debut. Still a teen, she hit the World Cup podium in January 1985 with a second in super G at Arosa, Switzerland. A few weeks later in Bormio, Italy, she was standing on the World Championship podium with a bronze medal!
During the 1991 World Cup season, Twardokens finished fourth overall in the giant slalom standings. In addition to her 1985 World Championships bronze, she powered to six other top-10 results across four World Championships (1985, '87, '89, '91) and is a six-time U.S. Champion.
Her own Olympic legacy was written over the course of two Olympic Winter Games (1992, 1994), never placing worse than eighth and was sixth in giant slalom in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway.
After retiring from competitive racing in 1995, Twardokens continued her passion for skiing and won the 1996 World Championships for technical skiing, a judged event, in Whistler, British Columbia.