Olympic Medalist Jean Saubert Dies at 65


May 15, 2007
BIGFORK, MT – (USST News Bureau Release) – Two-time former Olympic medalist and six-time U.S. ski champion Jean Saubert died Tuesday of cancer. She was 65.

Saubert, who grew up skiing in the Cascades mountain range in Oregon – where her father was a forest ranger, saw her first Olympic Winter Games in 1960 when her parents took her to Squaw Valley, CA, to see the alpine races. She raced in the next Olympics – at Innsbruck, Austria, in 1964 where she tied for the silver medal in giant slalom and earned the bronze in slalom.

She also won six U.S. ski championships in four disciplines. In 1964, she was the U.S. downhill, slalom, giant slalom and combined champion.

After retiring from racing in the pre-World Cup era, Saubert returned to Oregon and taught for more than three decades. She retired from teaching to live in Salt Lake City, where she was part of the Olympic Torch Relay and volunteered at the 2002 Olympics.

Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association – and a 1964 Olympic teammate of Saubert, said he was saddened by her death. He considered her a good friend, who died too young. “She was a truly outstanding competitor,” Marolt said.

“In recent years, she was one of the active competitors in our Return of the Champions (alumni event blending medalists with the current U.S. Ski Team),” he said, calling her “a great athlete and fan, who represented all the high values which USSA seeks to embody.”

Diagnosed with breast cancer before the ’02 Games, Saubert later moved to Bigfork to live with her sister Joan and brother-in-law. A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday in Bigfork with additional celebration of her life after a time to be determined; she will be buried alongside her parents and grandparents in Florence, OR.