In Memoriam: Diana Golden Brosnihan

diana golden brosnihan

Former disabled ski racer Diana Golden Brosnihan died of cancer on August 26, at age 38. Brosnihan, who lost much of her right leg to bone cancer at age 12, began ski racing in high school and competed on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team from 1979 to 1982 and 1985 to 1990. In an interview last year, Brosnihan, describing herself as a Type A personality, said, "It wasn't about wanting to overcome cancer; it was about wanting to kick butt."

Kick butt she did, winning 19 gold medals at the U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships and 10 golds at the World Championships. She also competed in the Calgary Olympics in 1988, when disabled racing was featured as a demonstration sport. Skiing on one ski and with regular poles instead of outriggers made for incredibly strong technique -- and a left leg as wide around as her waist. She was so strong, in fact, that she was also competitive in nondisabled races. She later became a motivational speaker and was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1997.

Brosnihan once foreran a women's World Cup downhill race in Aspen. "My times were about 20 percent off of the top racers -- a lifetime in skiing -- but I was pretty damn proud of it," she remembered. Indeed, her entire life was something to be proud of.