Hall of Fame Class of 2011
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 Diann 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. He 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 the age of 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 enjoy a successful 12-year World Cup career that included three podium finishes and 34 top 10 results.
Her inspiring rise to fame began two seasons after her World Cup debut. She hit the World Cup podium in January 1985 with a second in super G in Arosa, Switzerland. A few weeks later in Bormio she stood on the podium with a bronze.
During the 1991 World Cup season, Twardokens finished fourth overall in the giant slalom. In addition to her 1985 World Championships bronze, she powered to six other Top 10 results across four World Championships and is a six-time U.S. Champion.
Her own Olympic legacy was written over the course of two Olympic Winter Games (1992 in Albertville and 1994 in Lillehammer), never placing lower than eighth.
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, B.C.
1982: World Cup debut with 13th place in Piancavallo, Italy
1982-1983: Named Ski Racing Junior of the Year
1985: Second in Super G at the World Cup in Arosa, Switzerland
1994: 6th in giant slalom at the Lillehammer Winter Olympics
1996: Won the World Championships for technical skiing in Whistler
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