Andrea Mead Lawrence
Hall of Fame Class of 1958
Andrea Mead Lawrence is truly one of the outstanding sportswomen in the annals of United States sports history. She held a brilliant slate of alpine records and at all levels of competition. Her greatest single skiing accomplishment was a double gold medal performance in the slalom and giant slalom at the 1952 Olympic Games. She remains the only American ski racer ever to win two gold medals at a single Winter Olympics.
Andrea Mead Lawrence was born April 19, 1932 in Rutland, Vermont. Her father and mother, Brad and Janet Mead, had moved from New York as a young couple with a dream of founding a ski area in the Rutland area. That dream became the fine ski area of Pico Peak. It was Andrea’s home ground. Under the guidance of her father she was on skis about the same time she learned to walk. At age 10 she was ready for competition.
In September of 1942 her father passed away. Pico Peak, however, continued to prosper under the watchful eye of Andrea’s mother, a strong, well-organized woman. Many World War II servicemen remember Pico because they were all invited guests with ski equipment provided at no charge.
In 1948 Mead, age 15, was the youngest member of the United States Women’s Alpine Olympic Team, having secured a place by winning the slalom tryouts at Sun Valley, Idaho the previous year. The Olympic tryouts had been her first major event. Although her results were overshadowed by teammate, Gretchen Fraser’s gold and silver medal victories, Andrea’s eighth place in the slalom, 21st place in the alpine combined and 35th place in the downhill after a fall made her a definite threat for 1952. She finished second in the Arlberg-Kandahar pin, one of the highlights of her skiing career.
Andrea Mead married Dave Lawrence on March 13, 1951 in Davos, Switzerland after a very successful ski season in Europe where she placed first in 10 races and second in 4 others. Together they had five children: three daughters and two sons.
The 1956 ski season again found Mead Lawrence in the quest for an Olympic berth on the U.S. Olympic team at Cortina, Italy. She made the team and skied the three events placing fourth in the giant slalom, 25th in the slalom and 30th in the downhill, a respectable showing for a career spanning three Olympiads.
She remained active in the sport after deciding to stop competitive skiing. She helped her husband coach at a national training camp and she represented the United States at two F.I.S. Congresses: 1950 and 1954 on the Ladies Committee. Perhaps a most fitting climax to a brilliant ski career was the honor awarded her to ski the Olympic flame to light the Olympic torch at the Squaw Valley Olympics in 1960 as thousands of people watched and applauded. She had lived for many years in Mammoth Lake, CA where she was active in environmental causes.
Andrea Mead Lawrence was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1958.
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