Profile: Noel Lyons

girl guide-noel lyons


Taurus (Born May 12, 1962)

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado

Pedigree: Grew up in Vermont, skiing at Burke Mountain.

Focus: Skiercross and endurance events.

Résumé: Successfully competing for three decades, in all manner of disciplines, Noel is the Ray Bourque of skiing. She's been on the U.S. Ski Team, been an NCAA All-American, won a World Extreme championship, a U.S. Freeskiing Open skiercross, and a 24 Hours of Aspen race.

Ouch: At the 1999 X Games in Crested Butte, Noel came up short on a double jump and lost seven teeth in the impact. "There's nothing like spitting your teeth into your glove. It was nasty."

Fighting Dirty? "No, I'm too little. But if some big girls come in and start clicking bindings, I'll lean on 'em. I protect myself."

Good Luck Charm: "I have an Evil Eye necklace that I wear backward to prevent people from sneaking up on me in skiercross."

Ski Heroine: Tamara McKinney

Marital Status: "Very married."

Quaff: Shot of Patrón and a longneck Bud.

Reel Time: Half dozen Warren Miller flicks.

Best (and Worst) Day: Alaska 1993, the World Extreme Championships. "Bill Madsen had walked onto a cornice and tumbled to his death the day before. I was thinking, 'I'm still alive and vital and in this amazing place.' It was such a contrast. For my run, the snow was like creamy pudding. I was ripping these big, fun turns. After such a stressful day, it was very intense."

Weirdness: "I'm a closet soap opera watcher. I like the melodrama."

On Being a Girl: "It's cool to rip it up and have the guys say, 'Hey, you rock.' But when it comes to opportunities, it's a smaller piece of the pie that we're all scrapping for."